I am 19. Through the course of my life people have made me believe it's the year of golden opportunity for me something that defines my life forever. And I'm not doing anything with it. I wanted to go to college, but due to circumstances that didn't work. So instead I wanted to go to New York and help in volunteer work. That didn't work out either. So now I'm left with just me, I don't have a license, I don't have a job, and I'm not doing anything. And I know I shouldn't be in a rush to finish life, but shouldn't I be starting a life?
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One of the toughest, most stressful things in life is trying to decide your career and all your future life before you even are 20 years old. We are all so constantly pushed about this that it can make many of us miserable, and we can often make the wrong decisions. In the good ol’ days (geezer alert!), when milk came to your door via horse-drawn wagon there was a common system of apprenticeship. Only rich, educated families typically went to colleges and universities. Most other people worked in retail, trades, and factories. You were pretty much assigned from the time you were born as to which direction you would go, with a few exceptions of some brilliant people born to families of modest means.
Today, it is expected that everyone should go to college and if you don’t you are somehow a loser. This system is wrong-headed, and also crippled by the fact that our public education system is woefully inadequate and dominated more by Washington politics than common sense. So, what happens, inevitably, is a lot of young people drop out of school, or they join the military, or they keep trying to get into college, not really knowing why they should and, like you, feeling lost.
I’m not sure what type of volunteer work you were looking to do in New York, or why that idea fell flat, but what you need to do is take some time to decide what you want to do with your life. Don’t rush it. Think of hobbies and interests you have and how that might relate to a career. Don’t limit yourself to careers that need a college degree. You know, some people are really skilled with their hands. I have great respect for people who are talented carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, electricians, and the like. Or perhaps you enjoy working retail. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe you want to start an online business. There’s lots of potential out there to start businesses with little start-up money.
You do not have to determine the course of the rest of your existence today. Even if you decided on a career path, remember that it is now common for people to change careers three or four times during their lives. For instance, I started off wanting to be a sci-fi/fantasy novelist. Well, that didn’t work out so well. Now I’m an editor, but I want to do something more profitable and am seriously considering some business options. You never know where life will take you, so don’t panic just because you aren’t sure right now.
Also, remember that we are more than just our careers. Life is not all about work. If you succeed in other aspects of your life (family, love, spiritualism, etc.) but don’t do so well at a career, you’re still having a successful life.
For a little inspiration, here are some examples of famous people who started off sucking at life:
You get the idea. So, don’t be discouraged just because you’re having a rough start. What do all the people listed above have in common? They never gave up trying. Follow their examples and you'll be okay.
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