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How do you figure out what you want to do in your life?

I have been being pressured my whole life by the people around me to figure out what I am going to go to school for and what I'm going to do in life. I just recently decided on pursuing a career in film but some people are saying I won't make it. Can you help?

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Maggie’s Answer

Hi there!,
Sometimes we don't figure out what we TRULY "want to be" until you're a bit older, and thats totally ok!!
I did not find out what my passion in life was till I was in my mid 20's! Its completely normal not to have an idea of what you would want to be. Live your life, explore things that interest you, and you will find that thing that creates a spark!

I think its great that you're pursuing a career in film! If it ends up that you change your mind on the profession along the way thats totally par for the course! You've got this!
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. This is a very common question facing by many high school students. I can understand your anxiety. However, the best person to answer this question is yourself, no other can answer this on your behalf.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about what you have interest, e.g. your hobbies, favorite subjects, etc. and identify the related careers
E.g. If you like music, would you like to be a musician, musical actor, singer, music composer, music producer, etc.
If you have interest in maths, would you like to be a banker, accountant, financial analyst, engineer, maths teacher, etc.
2. Explore more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 career you would like to pursue
5. Find out the entry criteria of relevant subjects in the college
Also, you interest may change throughout your life. You may change career. Let's find out what you want to do now first. Believe yourself! You can do it!
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Audrey’s Answer

Hey there! My recommendation to you is try a bunch of very different things. If you find something interesting, start there. If you have no idea where to start, I would try healthcare, engineering, graphic design, physical science, teaching, journalism, etc. You don’t have to get a full on job in each area. That is so time consuming! You can volunteer, shadow, interview friends of friends in the field, watch YouTube videos, etc.

Lastly, think of the kind of life you want to have. For me, I have always loved science since I was little. All types of science. However, not everything on paper is the same in real life. I knew that many scientists sit inside all day. I didn’t want to sit in a lab or behind a desk so I had to look at science fields that were outside. I also didn’t want a job that didn’t have a work life balance. I want to go home and do the things I love. I don’t want work to be my life. But everyone is so different. I have friends that find work very fulfilling and they love demanding jobs. It’s a journey to find what speaks to you but it’s a good one.

At the end of the day, there are always going to be people throwing in their opinion when you didn’t ask for it. remember that they aren’t going to be living their advice in the day to day, you will be. I’ve heard opinions about my career from 16-24. But I took my time figuring out what I wanted because I wanted to make sure I was happy. So tell them thanks but this decision/journey is yours. I believe in you!
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Tracy’s Answer

Hey there, Maggie,

Remember this golden piece of advice, dear Maggie: chatter is ever-present. People will always attempt to distract you from your goals. Life has taught me, and continues to teach me, that regardless of your actions, there will always be someone with something to say, often with a negative spin. Don't let yourself be swayed by the opinions of others, as that implies you're seeking their validation. Embrace your power and do what you truly want to do in life - you're the one holding the reins.

Explore and discover a career that you excel in. You've got plenty of time to figure this out. Remember, the world is your oyster. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. You're the one in the driver's seat.
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Amalya’s Answer

Hi Maggie,

You should follow your passions and interests regardless of circumstances. Anyway, try to find a balance between making independent decisions and following others' advice. Sometimes one's relatives and friends can give a really helpful advice. But what refers to doing a movie career, it's completely up to you. If you are inspired with that field, and even find necessary talent and skills within yourself, go for it and realize your dream!
Wish you all the best.
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Briana’s Answer

Hi, Maggie,

Many, probably most, people who want to go into the arts face this criticism. You need to strike a balance between sticking to your goals and compromising. What that balance is, is up to you and what your boundaries and goals are. For example, many people are worried about film being unstable as a job. Which is true. It's hard to get into, and it's hard to make money if you do get into it. Not impossible, but difficult. I understand how your parents or friends may be worried about that.

However, you can be prepared. What do you plan on doing specifically? Writing? Directing? Editing? Cinematography? Distribution and sales? Producing? "Film" is big and hard to plan for. Knowing the specific track you want helps you know what steps to take, and be confident in those steps. How do you plan on making money in between jobs? Freelance work? Working as a crew member? Working as a PA? Do you plan on going to film school or going directly into the industry? Do you plan on having a day job in a separate but related field like marketing or business? Or a day job in a totally unrelated field? Have you talked to anyone in the industry for their advice?

You are not obligated to answer these questions every time someone asks you, but you DO need to know the answer to these questions for yourself in order to have a solid plan moving forward. Good luck!
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