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 ❤

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23 thoughts on “Wasn’t this what College was for?

  1. I know absolutely what you mean. I was 24 when I had my first kiddo and at that time I became a stay at home mom. I was a VERY hard decision and I thought all the same things that you mentioned. I’d just finished school a few years earlier and while I wasn’t working exactly in what I went to school for, I did enjoy my job (and most of the people).
    Staying home is a great thing and I don’t regret anything at all but at the same time I miss talking to adults on a daily basis. I truly believe that everyone should follow their heart. If your not happy with what you are doing it will spill over into other parts of your life. While maybe one career wouldn’t make as much money as another, I think the joy you get from it will make all the difference. Good luck!

  2. Oh Evani, are you having a quarter century crisis a year early? Don’t worry, I did the same thing. To be honest, life throws you curve balls and plans change. I’ve learned that the hard way. I think that it’s important to be happy with what you’re doing, but I also think that it’s naive to believe that success only comes when you’re ‘following your passion’. I completely agree with that article. Don’t worry that you may make the wrong choice, just believe that things will work out for you in the end. I hope that helps! 🙂

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  3. I know exactly how you feel. Late last year/early this year I realized I wanted to go back to school to study pastry arts (one of my passions) and I almost went. Then life got in the way. Now I’m can’t decide whether or not to go.

    I’m an all or nothing person too, so I know it’s hard to just sit back and let things happen. But that’s kind of what I’m doing now. I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing and see where life takes me. There’s no rush.

    Maybe you should look into event planning classes. Or see about planning a couple events for friends, etc. See how well you like it. That way if you really want to pursue event planning, you don’t waste time and money on grad school. And if you decide to take on event planning, you could probably do it once you become a mom. Kind of the best of both worlds.

    You’ll figure it out. Don’t rush yourself and know that you’re most definitely not alone.

  4. I have faith that you’ll figure this out, and while it may seem overwhelming and like it’s something you need to figure out immediately, you have time! I’m 27 and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up! I had quarter-life crisis{es} at least twice a year from age 21-now, so I can totally relate. I’m going through something right now, so I can’t even assure you that there’s an end in sight! I think it’s most important to do what makes you happy, and to try new things. You could totally pursue something you consider to be your passion on the side while you attend school. Just try to relax and not be too hard on yourself– things will happen the way they’re meant to!

  5. You are absolutely not alone. I struggled with this same thing at 24. Sometimes I still do at 29… But, the one thing I learned for sure is that if you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you have to make a decision for change, even if you aren’t 100% sure it’s the right decision. Being stuck/immobilized/frozen is worse than picking something to get you going a new direction. Your twenties (and maybe life?) are for experimenting with different paths. Give yourself space to be uncertain, try new things, and relax. It does get easier! And, check out the book Dear Sugar, some of the best advice on life I’ve ever read 🙂

  6. You may want to check out this blog: http://www.theunlost.com/. Therese is an expert on that kind of life decisions. She’s also happy to help via email.
    I was asking myself the same questions about two years ago. Now I more or less decided in which direction I’ll go, although it doesn’t have much in common with my education. 🙂

  7. You are not alone!! Girl, I am feeling THE exact same way. I got my degree in Business and my parents paid for my entire education so I feel somewhat indebted to them to do something with my degree…however I’ve found that I don’t know if I’m happy doing what I always thought I wanted to do. Like you, I wanted to be married and have kids and be a stay at home mom. This may sound bad but I almost feel like not even starting a career because what happens when I have kids, I just quit my job and let it go down the tubes?

    I definitely think you can do what you love and get paid for it! If you are going to be working your butt off wouldn’t you rather it be for something you love and are passionate about?? =)

    Anyways, just wanted to let you know that I’m totally in the same boat and that I’ve actually been having anxiety attacks about it!!

  8. It’s so scary to make such a big decision! The best advice I can give is to follow your heart AND your gut! You will end up much happier in the long run. Just my two cents 🙂 And happy, happy birthday again! I’ve GOT to get caught up in my blog reading!

  9. oh Evani. I totally understand. If you ever want to talk about graduate school, let me know. There are a lot of great options for psych programs in northern CA. Since a PhD is out (oh come on, isn’t research fun?!) perhaps that PsyD would be a better option for you. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.

  10. Evani, girl, I’m in the same boat! I took a job as the Psych Lab Coordinator at my alma mater as an in-between job. Something to tide me over until I figured out what program I wanted to do. Now it’s been three years, and I am no closer than I was when I graduated. Actually, I feel further away! You and I are both having pre-quarter-life-crises 😉

  11. Hi Evani,
    you are definitely not alone in this! I guess we all struggle with what to do! For me it was pretty straight forward. Going to commercial college, University of Business Administration (which I absolutely hated in the end) and afterwards a job related to my university topics. Well now I am a self-employed IT consultant and yes I like my job but there is always the nagging voice in my head that says .. was that all? is that all for the rest of your working life? I had so many dreams and interests… ! I don’t want to admit it, but I am in a little crisis myself. I don’t know what to do! Do I take the risk of doing something way different like studying biology or zoology or becoming a vet like I always wanted? Is it possible to go back to University at my age and have a career afterwards? Do I have the “balls” to pull through another 4 to 8 years of studying with no real income? Its horrible! If I had the money I’d do it in a heartbeat – most definitely but I gotta pay the bills – as you said!
    Don’t get me even started!! These are the things that are in my mind when I go to sleep, when I am in my car, when I am working … where ever I am ..!
    The only advice I could give you would be: follow your heart .. because I guess I am afraid to do it and will regret it in the end!
    xoxo

  12. Evani, I know exactly how you feel. I am totally confused about what I’m doing, where I’m going, and how to live the life of my dreams. What you said totally resonates with me because I have so many paths I can follow and the only thing I’ve ever known for certain is that I want to be mom. It’s so hard being 22, single, and unsure about everything except for wanting a child (or 4) which is also the most irresponsible decision I could make right now. But don’t forget, so much can change in 4 years. You have so much time before then!

    You are so talented and so (SO) smart. Follow your gut. If you have had this plan and you trust it, pursue that. If something deep down is telling you otherwise, change course. My favorite, favorite Steve Jobs quote: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” You are amazing and are totally going to figure this out. A little time and reflection is all you need! xx

  13. I totally know what you’re talking about. I always knew what I wanted to do with my life, but lately, I’m so confused! I’m in the last year of my BA uni course and although the best idea would probably be to get my masters afterwards, I don’t know if I want to do it. My heart is not there anymore. I’ve become interested in other things in the past years and I really don’t know what to do anymore. I might just take one year off, travel a bit and thoroughly think about what I want to do with my life. I don’t want to make a mistake and throw a few years of my life away…

    The Puzzle of Sandra’s Life

  14. Hi Evani! I honestly think it’s a such good thing that you are having this crisis when you are young and pre-kids. That article is great, and I completely agree with the last sentence. The harder you work at something, the better you become, and the better you become at something, the more passion you have for it! I have no doubt that you will figure out which path is right for you… you are obviously a go getter and hard worker which will always bring good things your way. 🙂

  15. We try to so much to plan, plan, plan our lives and sometimes unexpected things happen that make us question our plan. Sometimes you just have to live life and see where it takes you. Sometimes what we thought we wanted to do at 18 is not what we want to do at 24 or 34 or 44. Life, no matter how hard you plan, can be really unexpected and you have to learn to go with the flow, roll with the punches, and embrace the unexpected.

  16. Who ever said you couldn’t have it all? You totally can and you can totally pay bills and student loans from following your dreams. It might not be easy, but it can be done. You’re smart and I know you’ll eventually figure it out. You are definitely not the only person going through this. We often think we’re the only person going through something and then when we verbalize that thought we realize how many others are going through the same or something similar. You’re never alone.

  17. Evani do what you have passion for. I have a $100,000 degree in nutrition that I’VE NEVER USED. In fact, NONE of my jobs even required degrees (Sales). At the end of the day, being excited about the next day is way more motivating that your next paycheck (at least in my opinion!).

  18. I think we’ve all been there, if we’re not there with you as well. I’m the same age as you and I’m not doing anything related to what I studied at university (I studied law, I’m working basically in a lowly administration role in financial services). I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, except for the notion that I probably shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing for a number of reasons. I often wonder like you whether it’s possible to do something you love as your job – or whether being paid to do it will invariably affect your enjoyment of the activity. Whether it’s better to just separate the reality of needing to hold down a stable, albeit uninspired, boring job that you might even dislike, and the prospect of finding and pursuing your passion. For me, I don’t even know what my “passion” is, let alone whether I can turn it into a feasible occupation. I guess life is about stumbling through our uncertainties by more or less picking a path and venturing down it. From the outset, we will never know the result of our experiences, but we’ll always be richer for having them, even if we choose another path ultimately.

  19. 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. 🙂

  20. 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!

Thank you so much for commenting! I read ALL comments and I truly treasure every single one! :)

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