More time needed in search for career, goals


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Students are often asked throughout high school what they want to study in college and what career they dream of. In Reece Cavallo’s editorial, he says it’s OK for students to still be uncertain even as they graduate.

Reece Cavallo, Staff Writer

A screenwriter. A psychologist. A journalist. An FBI agent. A park ranger. These are all careers that I seriously thought I was going to pursue within the last six months. My mind changes almost daily, my interests fluctuating with every person I meet or TV show I watch. I’m still not sure as to where I want to go with my life, and judging from the conversations I’ve had with fellow seniors, I’m far from being alone.

As high schoolers, we’re always told how important it is to have a plan, a direction, but with half of us not seeing an option that we want to commit to, it’s discouraging not to have found the mysterious “passion” that society has told us is out there. It’s easy to feel like you’re somehow behind the curve as a high schooler that hasn’t found that special interest, but in reality, the teenagers that are sure of what they want to pursue are the minority. This is because it’s ridiculous to think that a high schooler should know what they want to do as an adult. Most of us have very little adult experience; the majority of our lives so far have consisted of tests, sports, and television. We don’t know how much money we really need or if we’d want a job where we’d have to travel. We don’t know what’s going to be important to us once we have a family or a 401k. It’s hard to make decisions as a kid for a life that is foreign to you.

Reece Cavallo

While knowing your direction might seem like a prerequisite for future success and happiness, it is somehow comforting to learn that most adults don’t even know what they want to do yet. In fact, it’s been estimated that at least 80% of college students change their major during their schooling. And it’s not only college students that don’t know what they want to do. We’re in the midst of “The Great Resignation” right now. Employees throughout America are switching their careers en masse, as COVID disturbances have given workers a chance to rethink their career choices. Some 20% of all Americans have changed career paths since the onset of the pandemic, and, according to a Microsoft survey, a whopping 46% are currently considering a switch.
While it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone in having a lack of vocational direction, it’s depressing to hear that so much of America is dissatisfied with their job. I’m not going to claim to know the solution to this problem, but billionaire Mark Cuban has some unorthodox but logical advice for people unsure of what they want to do. Cuban advises to disregard the idea of finding some perfect passion, as most people are rarely best at what they’re passionate about. Instead, he advocates for pursuing something you’re naturally good at. The idea is that doing something that you’re gifted at will eventually lead to satisfaction because of the human desire to compete and be dominant. People who excel at what they do tend to be happy with their job because, as Cuban says, it’s fun to be one of the best.
Even if you haven’t found what you’re naturally good at yet, don’t panic; there’s still time for that after high school. The best that we can do now is pick a path that seems appealing and follow it. As we gain a better understanding of post-high school life and ourselves, we can adjust our directions to get us to where we want to be.