Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life after high school...Ish

So, a lot of the younger kids I know are coming up on the end of high school, and that brings to mind the hazy months of senoritus, the college search, and the general curiosity about my plans for the future. In the last couple of years, I've been asked about a million times what I want to do with my life.

I understand that this question is largely because I'm an unemployed (again) twenty-something, not in school, and still at my parents' house, but really? My life? I'm not quite sure if anyone over thirty (or with actual direction for their lives) can appreciate the immensity of that question.

I am twenty years old, and it feels like I've only been out of high school for about three seconds, and yet people have been asking me since graduation what I want to do for the foreseeable future.

And that answer has always been, "I have no idea...School maybe? Have a career? Get married and pop children someday? I dunno." Because what kind of society are we in where people expect you to know what you're doing with your life in your late teens? Most people don't even choose a major in school until toward the end, or they change it at least once before they get their degree. And then comes the whole question of whether or not they even end up somewhere relevant to their degree...

I've officially come to the conclusion that most clueless post-adolescents simply follow the path laid out before them; they do what we're "supposed" to do, which is go to college, theoretically fall in love, get married, and begin the arduous work of starting a career. The thing that I think has been sadly lacking from education is that the traditional path is not the one that everyone has to choose. College isn't for everyone, and it shouldn't be treated as simply the next step of life. Life after high school is supposed to be the start of adulthood, the beginning of independence and personal accountability, which is something that I don't often see in almost anyone under twenty-five.

I think the difficulty here is that people don't want the pressure of choosing an alternate path for themselves. They can pretend the safe, socially acceptable route is enough to sustain their ambitions without ever having to seek for something other or more satisfying. Being creative in your life, not simply following the current--whether that be college, or a crappy job, or marriage--takes effort and ambition and willpower. It's a step into the unknown, and it can be terrifying to be in that kind of free fall.

Yes. This is free fall! Terrifying, atypical life choices being made >.>

I don't mean to glorify my general bummery and that of many of my acquaintances, but I think the illusion that we are ambitionless, childish, slobs is very much present, and I find that people tend to look down on those of us who don't have it figured out right now. But personally, I'd rather admit to not having all the answers right now than end up thousands of dollars in debt for my degree in Literature or whatever that I'll never use in a career. Life isn't something that generally goes according to plan anyway, in my experience at least.

I think part of it is that I don't have any illusions about the likelihood of my having a career I'm passionate about. I would love to be able to get paid for something I love doing, but the chances of that aren't high, and since I can't think of anything else I want to be doing for the long run, I may as well not spend thousands of dollars furthering my education. Instead, I'm going to search for a crappy job so that I can save up the money to do things I actually want to do without being completely penniless afterward.

Anyways, just some thoughts from one of the many useless drones devouring your resources.

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