The concept of growing up

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The concept of growing up

Chloe Morbelli, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Throughout my time at WA, answering this question has always been something I avoided. By the age of 18, people expect that I should have some idea of what I want to do for a career, but my answer is still “I don’t know.”

Yes, if I had an idea of what I wanted to do, my future plans might be clearer. Choosing a college would be easier and my parents’ minds would put to ease, but the thought of locking down to something I am unsure of creates instant guilt inside of me. This choice could determine a large fraction of my adult life.  As I try to balance practicality and my dreams, no subject or field has emerged as the thing I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

Although I admire those who have their futures mapped out, I have learned it is okay to be unsure of mine. I am not willing to let this question bog me down, and I’m a firm believer that growing up is not defined by a career.

In response to growing up, I do not believe it should be necessarily answered with a career.  Yes, maybe my family and friends are waiting for me to say a doctor, an architect, an accountant, or a teacher, but what about answering this question with “happy?” Why not say, “to have a purpose” or “to feel like I am making a difference?”

Then this realization struck me —  why wait to grow up when I can do now what people go through years of schooling to learn? Now, what comes after this varies from person to person, but I learned that doing the little things that I enjoy are how I can make a difference—a difference in others, for the planet, for myself. Making a difference does not mean taking the whole world upon my shoulders, but making my way slowly but surely.

Aside from all the math, English, history, science, and French questions I have answered at WA, I think “I don’t know” is the most important answer I have given. My path does not need to be mapped out, and I am learning to make the most of the present. “I don’t know” is guiding me along the right path.

No, I do not know what my plans for the future are, but I plan to make my decisions based off of my happiness. Being uncertain and happy outweighs living a safe and potentially boring life. I will lead my life following a compass that tells me what I want most.