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How did you know what you’re going to be in the future? What you’re going to study..

So, I’m an 11th grader right now, and I don’t have a clue about what I’m going to study in university. I just want to know how other people found out.

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Mailany Marie’s Answer

Before I decided what I wanted to do in the future, I participated in a lot of internships and volunteered as much as I could with institutions that interested me. I remember being in the 11th grade and researching different occupations for hours.

I originally wanted to be a nurse or a teacher because I love working with kids but after volunteering at a school, I decided that teaching is not for me and after interning at an adult-day-care center, I realized nursing was not for me, too. At this internship, however, I did find my love for planning and organizing, which led me to pursing healthcare administration.

Try to do something you enjoy if you can! Find as many opportunities you can to either observe or even volunteer in your desired field or occupation. You can even reach out to people via email and they will more than likely respond! Don’t be afraid to take the bull by the horns to find your true passion in life.
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Courtney’s Answer

For many professionals, their undergraduate majors do not align with their current careers. Most people don't realize what they want to do in the future until they have had the opportunity to experience different roles. Internships, volunteering, and job shadowing provide a way for you to experience different careers. Also, once you begin your professional journey, you may find that you switch career roles several times--as you do, you realize what you like and dislike. Don't feel pressured to have all of the answers right away. Focus on getting as much experience as possible and building your professional brand by going above and beyond.
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Jeannette’s Answer

Dear Sarah,

I went to college with the idea I might study English Lit. When I got there, I didn't feel it was a right fit but I felt strongly I wanted a broad, liberal arts education. I ended up majoring in psychology. It was hard to choose because I loved anthropolgy, history, French ... So to be honest, it was totally trial and error and chance and picking the best thing I could at the time.

I didn't know how I was going to be anything in the future. I thought I might be a writer, maybe, at the time. Then I got scared about that and went to law school, because I thought that would give me a secure future. But I didn't really want to be a lawyer. I was good at writing and research. I loved that. I still do. I worked as a lawyer for about a year. After that, I just kept taking little steps forward, trusting my instincts, trying to act out of clarity rather than out of fear. To not make a panic-based choice. To not make a choice because of some kind of perceived status of that choice. But to be true to myself even if "other people" didn't like it, or whether or not I could "justify" it.

So that's how I dealt with "what am I going to be". Here's something funny -- for the past few years, I started working as an instructor of something that I have been doing in my free time for most of my life. It turns out, I LOVE teaching this thing. I don't want to say what it is, becasuse that part isn't important. What's important is, when you do what you love, what you're passionate about, it really gets to the "being" part of "what am I going to be". Then you feel like, "yeah, this is right". And guess what, I didn't start doing this thing until I was at college. I had the seeds of it, I can see now, but only in retrospect. I discovered it by trying something out at college, just because I was curious and it sounded good. I tried a lot of things actually. This one thing stuck, but I could never have guessed it!

I hope this is helpful and wish you luck – you will get there, believe me!

Jeannette

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Sarah,

I did know what I was going to study in college when I left high school. The problem was that I had not really done my research on what it would take. I got into a good school but did not realize that my major was competitive and people in my desired program had to be chicken based on a variety of variables. It is important not just to choose your major, but understand what it takes to enter the program and determine if you want to work that hard.

I ultimately didn’t know what I wanted to do until I started working. It can be dificult to know what you want to do if you have not been exposed to a lot of things.

Gloria
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