Reply To: Ask the experts
Hi Jasmine! I’m so impressed that you’re pursuing this kind of self-awareness at age 17! I can tell you’re a wise soul in a young body. 🙂
Your question is very similar to another comment that was posted in this forum about a week ago (in a different thread) by an 18-year-old girl who’s feeling the same pressure that you’re feeling to figure this all out ASAP. I want to share with you my response to her (at least part of it), which I hope resonates with you and helps relieve some of the overwhelm you’re feeling.
“Because you’re already so committed to finding a career path that will allow you to have the kind of lifestyle you want after college, I have total faith that you’ll be able to make that happen. The key is to use this last year in high school and the next few years in college to understand yourself in a deeper way than you ever have before.
The beauty of being in school and not having to make a career decision right this very minute is that you have space to experiment, try things, and change your mind. That’s what I would have you really focus on over the next few years. Don’t feel like you need to make every decision perfectly right now — it’s perfectly OK to try things, realize you don’t like them (or don’t want to pursue them as a career, at least), and change course. If you view high school & college as a space where you have freedom to explore and discover who you are and what you love, you’ll feel SO much less pressure to “get it all right” immediately.”
I also want to add that, while your parents, friends, teachers, etc., have the very best intentions for you and want to give helpful advice, recognize that what works for them might not work for you, and that’s OK. For example, if your parents want you to choose a college major that will give you financial stability later in life, you can certainly consider that advice and see how it feels to you, but if you disagree, you don’t have to take that path. Ultimately, this is your life, and you want it to feel good to you. And you don’t have to make any decisions right this very minute! Explore, learn, try things, and then check back in with what feels right to you.