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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Olivia Schroder | Writer

When we were little, we probably all had someone ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I think it's safe to say we all answered with whatever came into our 7-year-old minds at the time, whether it was a doctor, a teacher, a fireman, or a unicorn. But as I approach the age of 21, I find myself thinking about that question more often than I would like to.

Now I'm asked that same question, just with different wording, “What’s your major?” And even with 10 years to think about it, I still can't give an answer I'm confident in. In our society, there is an embedded expectation that we should know who we are and what we are supposed to do by the age of 20, while at the same time living life to the fullest. This has led me to the question: does it even matter? As we grow, we find out new things about ourselves every day. Isn't it a little ridiculous to confine ourselves to a box in the form of a job or degree?

I've heard so many people over the years tell me that they got a degree in something completely unrelated to their current job. My mother got a degree in aerospace engineering, and she's now a stay-at-home mom. So maybe it's ok if we don't know what we want to be when we grow up. After all, what is life if not a constantly changing, growing process with you and with others? So when do we ever truly “grow up”?


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