The Premature Career Completixy
~ I’m fully aware this is sort of a weird post the day after results day but it’s pressing on my mind. Enjoy this time, enjoy whatever you choose to do from this point on and remember if you have a passion for something you’ll have success follow you in it. ~
“So, what do you want to do when you’re older?”
The, quite literal, age old question that follows you around everywhere. When you’re young and it’s an astronaut or ballerina, when you have careers talks in year 11 or when you’re at a get together talking to family friends, it’s the stalker of all questions.
And sure when I was younger I had answers. Most notably, a button pusher – as in sitting in some sort of machinery and pressing big green and red buttons (though I’m sure Dad had a very different idea of what a button pusher was, love you lots). But that was one of many ideas, I wanted to be an architect, an artist, a journalist, I wanted to work at Vogue, even be a lawyer at one point.
But it seems, because of the choices I’ve made at school, choices that I had no awareness off at the time, that I shut off those options to go down those paths very early on. For certain *institutions* not having the right GCSE grades cuts you off from them, despite you being more than capable and more than suited to going there.
Me and my friend Amelia, asleep in GCSE English, sorry Mr Dilley
And it’s a shame, because I reckon having more awareness of the impact of those decisions and choices back then, I would’ve have definitely worked differently. Though a 13 year old kid shouldn’t have to worry about that, it’s naive to think that it’s going to change any time soon. But what I hope will change is the focus of recognition.
What I mean by this is:
The things that are valued currently such as IB points 40< and A-levels that are AAA< can be “shallow”. You’re judged via three grades all of which could be ruined because of a grade boundary or because you got your period that day and couldn’t focus in the exam. How’s anyone meant to know that? On paper, you’re still the kid who got 34 instead of their predicted 36, it makes a difference.
And it’s shallow.
It transpires in the future because employers seeing a degree from a Russel group uni or any uni at all is preferred. It’s shallow, but that’s the reality.
And all of these choices that are being made way before their time and grades that seem to be the literal be all and end all make the, and don’t judge me for this analogy, paths to your “future” ever more narrow. I say future like that because honestly, calling your occupation your future is exclusive and utterly closed minded.
I get it, I’m not stupid this is the system we live in and having an education, particularly a good one, can make the difference when you’re trying to get into the job circuit. I’m a part of that system and I’m proud of it. I have had an amazing education and still am because my parents sacrificed so much to put me and my sisters through it. It’s the ultimate cliche but yes, Asian families do value education so highly and the reason? Because when they migrated, education was most often the only fighting chance they had an it gave them freedom and opportunities because whether it’s in an Indian, British or American system, education means something.
But the thing I’ve never been able to direct, despite being encouraged to do definitively is choose my future. I’m 18, I’ve left school and finished my first year at uni. And I still have no idea what I want to do with my life.
Not conventionally at least.
I want to write my blog, I want to help people, I want to teach people, I want to be a mendhi artist, I want to be a mother. There are a million things I want to do all of which require different necessities and qualifications. And that’s why it’s confusing. I’ve been in a system where they elongate your journey, so that there’s one end goal: your career. But a career isn’t one job. A career is a collection of jobs and things that you’ve done over your life, right?
Does holding a beer somehow communicate that I’m growing up?
And I’ve been struggling with it because I don’t want to feel I have to choose one thing. I want to have my blog but can’t I be a mendhi artist at the same time? Yes. Honestly, yes I can be. And I think that comes down to the changing scope of having an “occupation” and ultimately what your career ends up being. I feel lucky that I’m supported to do what I want to do and I have the independence and ability to do it.
So that’s what I’m gonna do.