Jordan: Majoring in ‘undecided’

Living in a fantasy world of professional possibilities

When I was in pre-school my teacher asked the class what we wanted to be when we grow up. I responded that I wanted to be a teenager.

By Emily Jordan On Growing Up

By Emily Jordan
On Growing Up

I thought nothing of the answer at the time however now I realize there is humor in my short-term, and unavoidable goal of adolescence. Though as I aged the question reappeared and grew more in depth with each passing year. Where are you planning to go to college? What are your plans after college? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Questions aimed with genuine sincerity yet received with hesitant ignorance. Why is it people are always expecting you to know what you want in life?

I spent most of my grammar school years deciding on one career after another to pursue. First it was professor then lawyer then fashion designer/pilot. I’ve also had countless million dollar business ideas. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to manifest those ideas into patents or those careers into realities. I am now 21 years old and working on enrolling back in college after taking a year off. My intended major, originally political science, is still undecided.

My lack of a plan for the future results from the fact that I still have not decided what I want to be when I grow up. In the words of Italian philosopher Marsilio Ficino, “In these times, I don’t, in a manner of speaking, know what I want; perhaps I don’t want what I know and want what I don’t know.”

I sympathize with Fincino’s predicament and believe there’s a fundamental truth in his observation. The future is plagued with unknown obstacles and experiences that morph our current views of life and goals. I do not feel I have experienced enough to know what career will best utilize my skills. Each day I learn a new word or concept that sends me into a fantasy world of professional possibilities.

The pressure to hold all the answers to my future however is something I no longer feel the weight of. I’ve decided to instead focus on precision in my plans for the present so that they may lead to a rewarding future. I make small goals like when I was in pre-school that will get me to the next step. I am not naïve enough to believe that all of my plans and decisions will play out as intended, but I can always hope for the best.

Predictability is overrated anyway. Instead of being dead set on establishing a concrete future why not strive to find peace in the fluidity of the present?

Filed in: Education, Latest Headlines, Opinion

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