Wasn't this what College was for?

Happy Thursday!

I knew my 24th birthday came and went too easily. Identity crisis was soon to follow. Initiating full panic yesterday afternoon.

I'm struggling friends, I'm struggling with deciding what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life. Now, more than any other point in my life, I'm completely lost on what my life is leading up to. I've always been such a driven individual, with clear goals and the motivation to get there. But lately, I'm feeling unsettled and frankly, completely lost. Isn't this what college was for?

Source for quote/Graphic made by me

At my core, I am an all-or-nothing person. People who really know me, know when I get a pet fish, I will know EVERYTHING there is to know about that fish. I'll spend hours on forums making sure his behavior is normal, that his tank is the right temperature or that he is happy. Within the first month, they'll see him in a 10 gallon tank with his decorative rock and live plants changed twice a month. And they know that when he died, I cried like an absolute baby (Truthfully, I'm tearing up right now writing this...Miss you Avatar). I don't do anything lightly my friends, even owning a $2.99 fish. This is my explanation for why I can't just "try" something out and hope it works out. It will either work out or I will make it work out.

Avatar, the best betta I ever knew.

I graduated college 2 years ago and was incredibly fortunate enough to get a research position in the field I majored in at a well known Neurodevelopmental Institute. Graduate school was ALWAYS on the horizon but I purposefully chose not to apply while I was in college because I wanted to enjoy my last year of college and because I wasn't 100% sure what program I wanted. So I started work full time, but grad school was always in the plan.

Fast forward 2 years and I've realized that research isn't what I want to do for my life. This takes a Ph.D. out of the running since it involves an intense amount of research. Now I'm left to ponder Psy.D programs or Masters programs in Psychology for grad school. Then, I started this blog and discovered my immense passion for event planning, crafting and photoshop. At parties I've planned for work, one of our psychologists even mentioned that I could make more money party planning and suggested I look into it seriously. After months of receiving those compliments, a dim lightbulb started to shine brighter and brighter, until it started to overshadow the plans I had made all along.  This new creative side that I didn't even know existed is competing with what my logical self has been planning on for YEARS. Could I really make a living out of my hobby? What about all the work I already did for my degree?

So now I'm stuck.

Stuck because I'm not sure which psych graduate program I want to apply for (All I know is I want to counsel somehow)
Stuck because I can't shake this feeling that I could maybe do what I love everyday and even get paid to do it?
Stuck because I've worked so hard to gain experience and knowledge in a particular field already.
Stuck because the honest truth is I have bills to pay, student loans to pay off and I can't do that on a dream alone. Now a degree, it does pay and no matter what anyone says, money has to count for something.
Stuck because grad school is expensive...and more loans won't help with the next point below this one.
Stuck because I'm 24 and (I'm going to be frighteningly honest) I want at least 1 kiddo before I'm 28-29.
Stuck because I desperately miss being in school and I know I'm meant for more education someday, somehow.

Basically every thought in my head contradicts itself. I didn't even mention that my ultimate goal in life is to first and foremost, be a Mom someday, and a good one at that. This will probably mean staying home with the kids for at least a year or so in the beginning. So all these things combined, I swear my head is going to explode. I want it all friends.

 WHY can't we have it all?

I'm not begging for advice or suggestions (although they are welcome, I mean I did pour this all out on you and you're still reading) but if anything, I'm looking to know I'm not alone in my complete and utter confusion. When you chose to continue schooling, or when you chose your career path, was it as clear as day? Are you currently still in the dark like me? Did you feel like the path you chose was what you were meant to do? This article was on Facebook the other day and it was SO relevant, it hurts. Read it!

LOL love this. Source

Sorry if this blog post is somewhat of a debby downer. At the end the day, I'm incredibly lucky to have attended college, to have great options and the time to pursue them, now if only I could just live and let live, I would enjoy my 20s more!

Plus, I've already got Rob and that's half the battle isn't it? Someone to weather the storm with? And celebrate your success?

Don't forget you can still totally join in with Let's Get Physical October! Link up is open until Friday at 11:00 pm PST.

Even if you don't have a blog to link up or for them to visit, stop by the blogs of the ladies who linked up and give them some encouragement because their participation really made my day! Plus they rock, simple as that.

Thanks for reading <3

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28 thoughts on “Wasn't this what College was for?

  1. I'm 24 as well. I graduated college in 2010 then two days later I went straight in to starting my grad program for Early Childhood Education. [I only applied to the school I was currently attending.] I fell in love with my cohort and am still really good friends with many of the ladies I was with! I enjoyed my student teaching, but then last year I taught for the first year and that really made me question, is this what I'm supposed to be doing?! Was getting my Master's a waste of time and money? Then I couldn't even land a teaching job this year and am settling with a kindergarten assistant position. So I struggle with that every day. Do I want to teach? Or do something completely different? My only problem is, I don't know what my other options are. So I feel what you're going through. But you should do what you have a passion for. If it's both, maybe you could somehow manage that or just try one at a time. There is always time for the other. 🙂

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  2. I know exactly how you feel!!! I'm 28, and have been struggling recently with these exact same feelings and questions. I really do enjoy my job, which is in a creative field, but it seems like it's been wearing on me this year, making me question if this is really where I want to be and what I want to be doing. And just like you, I ask myself "what about those 4 years in college?" I have to keep reminding myself that nothing is ever, EVER permanent! Maybe I'll stick this out till I'm 30, then change things up. I don't have to do the same thing for the next 40 years. I came across a quote on Pinterest that I LOVE and read/remind myself of every single day: "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try." Whatever you decide to try, do it for YOU!

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  3. You have no idea how glad I am you posted this! I have been feeling like this for a while. I'm still in my undergrad but I recently transferred and switched my major to art on a whim even though I have no idea what I'll do with my life! Even though the future still stresses me out I just think, if I die tomorrow I want to know that I did what I loved and was happy. Being happy is the most important thing!

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  4. Love, we've all been there. From someone older (as old as you'll be when you've got that first kiddo!), who just moved back in with her parents to pursue a new career (photography) in a field completely unrelated to her college degree (sociology) and her work experience the past six years (higher education), it ALL. WORKS. OUT. It is definitely frustrating when all your ideas are contradicting each other. You just gotta feel it out and do what feels right. A favorite quote of mine just popped into my head thinking of you: "Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should." Enjoy it. Easy for me to say -- I'm not particularly good at doing this myself (but I DO have that quote pinned above my desk in an effort to try harder!). You're amazing. You're a rock star. Nothing you've done up to this point will ever be wasted, as it's led you to the place you are now. And the experiences you have now will lead you to the person you will continue to evolve into, ever-changing, for the rest of your life. I'm getting all kinds of prophetic here, eh? Point is, try to enjoy these options (I know you do!) and embrace whatever feels good, even if it's grad school PLUS event planning at once! Who says you can't? Unless you'll totally stress yourself to death. 🙂 Let me know next time you're down south and we'll rendezvous again! I want to hear more about your quarter-life meditations. XOXO and hang in there! You're a freakin' awesome lady and whatever you decide will be good and right.

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  5. Hey girl. I think this post is what our 20's is all about - just trying to figure out who we are and what our purpose in life is. I know how it feels to have contradicting thoughts overwhelm your brain constantly. Even when I was going to college and reaching for a dream in graphic design, I was still trying to talk myself out of it every day. WHY do we do that to ourselves? I have no idea. I dropped out of college the first time around and decided to go back WHEN I KNEW WHAT I WANTED TO DO! I think it's silly to continue education when you're unsure - which is so sad because I feel like 99% of high school grads go to college only because they are expected to. It wasn't until I stopped caring about other people's expectations that it became more clear to me what me myself and I wanted. I come from CT - a state that is very much education oriented. All of my friends have their masters in some really important area of knowledge, and as I sit with my Associates from a local career college - I just don't give a shit. What matters is whether I'm happy doing what I do. If you don't get those good feelings from your work at the end of the day, no matter what the money is - it's not worth it. Do what you have to do to get by for now, but keep your dreams in sight and don't assume they are far-fetched. That's what I thought 2 years ago and I proved myself wrong. Sorry for the novel here - this post just really hit home for me!! I hope you have that moment of clarity soon - I know you will! xo

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