So right now I am entering a new chapter of my life. I have waited for this moment all my life. At the moment, it seems overwhelming… The only thing on my mind would be, NOW WHAT? WHERE DO I GO NEXT?
After five years of studying architecture, having to overnight to get my projects done, giving up on what I liked doing the most, my hobbies, my social life, I have finally reached the end. In a month, I graduate, and I am thrown away into this world on my own. This is the start of the search for my self, independently.
It feels like a huge responsibility. Do I start working or do I pursue a masters’ degree? Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? How do I know what I actually want to do? What is my passion and my drive? How can I be the best at what I do? What helps a lot is knowing that what I am feeling is normal. We have all felt this way at least once.
So whatever you’re going through, just take the time to think about these 3 simple questions, and I promise, after that, you would be at least 90% sure of the choice you’re making.
1- Where do I see myself 5 years from now? – If what you’re doing is not one step forward into your goal, your future self, then find another way. And if it is but you just don’t have the motivation or patience to get through, just think about where you will be 5 years from now and keep going. Time will pass anyway, so why not sacrifice what you want know to accomplish something that would make you thankful years from now. You would feel so proud knowing that you gave up on the simple pleasures in life that satisfy you for split seconds but you got to be who you’ve always wanted to be. During these 5 years, I have always felt different from all the other girls. I chose a major that forced me to give many things up and forget about myself for a while, I always envied people who had more time on their hands. But hey, look at me now. I am officially an architect. So what I would have enjoyed doing may have been tempting at the time, but looking at the bigger picture, I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
2- What makes you happy? – I think this question has been used and abused. But think of it in another way. What makes you get up in the morning knowing that you’ll be doing what you love the most? (Okay, other than having a cup of coffee). It might be only the part of dressing up for work, or simply organizing your tasks for the day. These little things can be simple signs to what makes you happy and keeps you going. Let me give you an example about myself. I do not like dressing up for work. Who would think that such a simple thought can help me identify if a job makes me happy or not. But think about it, if I ever get a job at an office or a bank, I would have to wake up every morning and get fully dressed for work and wear my formal clothes every single day. No matter how much I might actually like what I do, this simple act that is the first thing I do each and every morning will take away all my motivation and passion. That is how I start setting guidelines for my future. Even if I want to be a designer, I do not want to work in an office, I would rather be doing all the messy work and be present on site. This is what I enjoy doing and this is what would make me get up in the morning and look forward to my day.
3- Well, honestly, I cannot think of a single question to sum up this idea. But being in that phase where I decide whether I should start looking for a job or go for a master’s degree, this has been one of the hardest decisions I had to make. Many questions arise from this situation. Do I want to start making money or do I want to be better at what I do so I can get a better paying job? Do I want experience or do I want to specialize in something? Do I have to work to know what I want to specialize in? Is experience important or is self development the priority? I cannot really help concerning this issue because the conditions vary immensely from one person to the other. But, you really should consider all the cons and pros of all the situations. You can always seek help from a professional or someone who is in the same domain.
I am sure that every one of you has his own guidelines or simple questions that helped him make the right choice or maybe you just made the wrong one and then realized what you should have done differently.
Please share any thoughts you have on the issue and I’ll be happy to help at least if you just need someone to tell you things from the perspective of an outsider. Families are always the right people to go to in such situations but sometimes we need someone who won’t judge if we just wanted to be artists, someone who won’t tell us we should go for something that makes us money rather that pursuing our dream job.