Leaving school or college can be a ridiculously daunting prospect for even the most prepared. What you're going to do with the rest of your life almost feels like an alien concept. So here are some wise words from Alyssa Satara on how to figure out what you want to do with your life.
Here’s some helpful tips for young people who are figuring out what they want to do with their lives.
Realize it’s okay to not know what you want to with your life.
This is especially true when you’re in your early 20’s and trying to figure out who you want to be and what you want to be doing in 20 or 30 years.
Goals are good, but don’t let the unknown trick you into thinking you’re not on your path. You are.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated college. Job after job, experience after experience, I started to realize what I didn’t want to do with my life.
Crossing off those options allowed me to open my eyes to my true calling in life.
Be okay with trying new things. Be okay with failing.
To fail is to learn, to learn is to succeed. I was so scared of messing up when I was younger that I didn’t move. I was frozen in fear, therefore stagnant in success.
To be successful—which I define as happy, and fulfilled—you’re going to have to get used to trial and error, especially if you’re not exactly sure what it is that you want to do with you life.
Be a sponge, and learn as much as you can.
If you’re young and don’t know what it is you want to do with your life, pay attention.
Pay attention to the people you surround yourself with, and seek advice from people you trust, or are curious about. Ask as many people as you can (your parents and their friends, your friends parents, professors you’ve previously had) about their jobs, and the industries they work in.
Pay attention to what you enjoy doing, and to what your natural talents are. Brainstorm, make lists, and reflect on what activities bring you joy. Take time to think about the kinds of things you’d like to get better at, and make the time to practice those things.
Stay true to yourself.
Go all in on your strengths, and talents. Don’t focus too much on getting good at things you’re not good at.
Scholastically, we are taught that it’s better to be well rounded. So instead of reaching our full potential in one aspect we become a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
I spent so much time trying to be better at things I didn’t like doing, tasks I wasn’t naturally good at, jobs that weren’t well suited for my personally, all because I thought it would make me more marketable in the work force.
The time I could have spent perfecting a skill set I was interested in, was spent doing a whole bunch of other stuff. It jumbled up my resume, and it confused me instead of helping me find any kind of clarity.
So relearn a few things, and open your mind to what feels right to you, not what others have been telling you to do your whole life.
Most importantly, enjoy your life. Life’s not about having it all figured out, it’s about figuring it out. So enjoy the ride, instead of hopelessly awaiting an unknown destination.
This article originally appeared on Quora.