COLUMN: It’s all right to wonder what’s next

By Melissa Silverberg

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Try to think back 10 or 15 years ago and remember your childhood aspirations. I wanted to be a ballerina, a firefighter and an astronaut – until I realized I was incredibly afraid of heights and even more incredibly awful at math and science.

When I grow up I want to be a writer, at least for now.

People don’t ask ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’ anymore. They ask what your major is or what you want to do with your life, but I think we need to bring back the original question.

Even my dad, who has been in generally the same line of work for the past 30 years says he still isn’t sure what he wants to be when he grows up.

And that’s okay.

Just because we apply to a college within the University and pick majors, you aren’t glued into that line of work for the rest of your life.

If you are an engineering major, maybe someday you’ll be a teacher. Or vice versa. Don’t limit yourself or rule anything out.

Right now, students are settling into classes, jobs and their new lives back at school. While we are all so busy living in the present, however, we can’t forget to plan for the future. The University has so many opportunities for students to have fun and improve their social lives, it also provides opportunities to add to your resume and find a career.

Going out into the real world and starting your career may sound scary, and as much as we would all like to pretend otherwise, the real world is out there waiting for us.

Joining clubs, taking classes and learning skills are all important parts of getting hired after college, but there is more to a career than just having a job. A career should be something you enjoy waking up and doing everyday. Although that may sound corny, it is true. If you hate your job, then why do it? Follow your passion.

Of course, I’m just a journalism major. My professors tell me at least once a week that my dream job, to write for a daily newspaper in a large city, will no longer exist 10 years from now, which is always nice to hear.

But I don’t care.

I’ll keep staying up late researching stories, calling sources between classes and creepily talking to people on the Quad (sorry if I’ve ever scared you) all because this is what I want to do.

Try not to forget the little kid that wanted to be a professional baseball player or a superstar, because you still can be (well, maybe). Get a summer job that has nothing to do with your career path, and if you love it, maybe you will be able to incorporate that into your future career. This guide is full of ideas about how to make yourself as marketable as possible to find a career, but also about how to find the right career for you.

And, whether you’re 7, 22, or 53, don’t ever stop asking yourself what you want to be when you grow up, and then go for it.