The end of the year is a pretty weird time of year for a number of reasons. The impending Christmas period, the conclusion of the High School/University and the fact that it’s hotter than Satan’s balls makes it extremely difficult to do anything productive. This is usually the time of year where you find yourself posted on the couch with way too much junk food, binge watching the half empty fridge that is Australian Netflix.
On the other hand, many young people are in a position where they have to start making important choices concerning their future. Like many people my age, I sat down in front of my computer, opened up my University’s website that’s unnecessarily tweaked and changed every month, and attempted to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my life.
Sitting in front of the computer, it’s extremely easy for self-doubt to creep into your mind. “Is this what I actually want to do with my life?” “Can I make a sustainable career out of this occupation?” and the biggie, “Do I even want to be at Uni anymore?” These are all valid questions of course, but it’s easy to forget that you’re in the same boat with literally thousands of other people.
It’s estimated that 20 to 50 percent of people entering tertiary education are unsure of what they actually want to do and a further 75 percent of people change their major at least once in their degree. These sort of statistics point to a large section of people that are evidently unsure of what they want to do, and that’s absolutely fine.
You’ve probably heard the somewhat stale “How can kids make huge decisions for their future when a month ago they had to ask to use the bathroom?” line before, and I’m sure what I’m telling you isn’t exactly revolutionary, but importantly, it is true. The pressure to make the right decision is ladled on from as early as Year 11 and it’s easy to become disillusioned with the future. What’s often forgotten is that you are actually allowed to change your decisions, which is something that is rarely mentioned throughout the countless careers advisory meetings and tedious University applications.
Tertiary education often catches people in a place where they’re unsure of what they want to do but feel the need to do something anyway. You shouldn’t feel like you’re trapped, you always have a choice and can always change things if you want. We’re young; we’re constantly introduced to new ideas and thoughts that had previously not occurred to us. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you find that between the ages of 16 and 20 your worldview changes, that’s normal.
Whether you’re anxiously waiting for your High School results or deliberating on what major to choose, know that whatever happens isn’t the be all and end all. Take a while, evaluate your options and know that there are other pathways to get to where you want to.
You got this.
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