In high school, you have two options you can do after you graduate: 1) Go to university or college to get a degree to work at a job or 2) work at a job with no degree (I guess three options if you count not working but how ya gonna pay ya bills??). If you’re going with option one, then chances are you will have to start looking into different careers so you can chose your academic path when you’re in grade ten or eleven because second semester in grade twelve is when you start applying for the programs. It just seems crazy to me that at such a young age, we have to choose what we want to do for the rest of our lives! I wanted completely different things career wise at sixteen compared to now at twenty-two.
Choosing an Academic Path
So like most of my friends did, I applied for university. Before I applied, I looked around at a couple careers; archeologist, veterinarian, crime scene investigator, nursing and interior design (I know, they’re all over the place). I really wanted to do interior design but everyone said that I wouldn’t make enough money or it would take me a long time to get a good reputation so instead I chose nursing (what is the correlation? I have no idea). I chose nursing because I did a week long program there and it was interesting to me. I didn’t really know what else I wanted to do so I thought it would be a good career because I love helping people. Little did I know that nursing is actually one of the hardest and most intense degree to get, but I pushed on anyway.
At the start I really did enjoy it, but I’m not sure if I enjoyed just being in school (because I’ve always loved school) or if I actually liked the content that I was learning. In the summer before third year I started to feel differently about it. I wasn’t enjoying it as much and I felt like it was weighing me down. Then last semester, I really started to not like it. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people and making their day by being kind, but there are so many aspects to the job that I don’t like (i’ll get into that on another post).
Inspired to Change
This year I decided to take a step back and actually evaluate who I am as a person and what I want to get out of this life. I went on a little self journey you could say. I discovered what my passions truly are: helping people, making peoples lives easier, style, design, photography, writing and just being creative. It took me so long to realize that I’m actually this really creative person that wants to do something (career wise) with that aspect of my personality. I started to ask myself “what can I do with this creativity and how can I make it a career?”. I researched different careers, event and wedding planning, photography, event coordination, etc. Looking at them made me feel actually excited! I feel so inspired to do more research and find a career that I will actually be excited to get out of bed in the morning for.
Telling Friends & Family
There was mixed feelings from my family and friends about this discovery. Some were really supportive about me wanting to change career paths and others were confused. They would say “You haven’t even started yet! How do you know you don’t like it?” or “I’m sure there’s other stuff you could do with that degree so why change careers?”. Here’s the thing, I do realized I haven’t started working and yes there is probably other things I could do with my degree, but I don’t want to do that. I have a gut feeling that I won’t like working (based on my practicum experience) and having a nurse working that doesn’t enjoy her job is not only mentally draining but also the chance for burn out increases and then the nurse can become so exhausted that they change as a person.
So many times we think that since we put so much effort and time into a degree that we have to do that for the rest of our lives. Nursing has really changed me and I’m so grateful that I was lead down this path. I have become a person that’s more compassionate, level headed and kind. The way I look at it, the schooling that I’ve done is a life experience that I wouldn’t have been able to get if I didn’t go to school. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without going through what I did to get to this point. I did not “waste” my time doing this degree. I am fortunate enough to even have the opportunity to go to school and it helped me to grow as a person.
I want to be able to look back on life and be happy that I could pursue my passions, reach my goals and live out my dreams. Changing paths is really scary because of the unknown, but I think in the long run I will feel so much better and proud of myself for doing what I truly aspire to do.
I challenge you all to take a step back and actually evaluate your passions and goals. Take a moment to reflect on who you are and what kind of dreams you have. Is there any hobbies or interests that you’ve always wanted to try? The hardest part is taking the first steps, but once you do, those steps may lead you on a different path that you would have never thought you could be on.