What To Do?

As I’m approaching the end of my degree, the question of what lies next pops into my head more and more often. It was much easier to push out of my mind when I was younger since having a career was more of an abstract concept than a possible reality. My plans for life were sequential: finish high school then CEGEP then university. But the end is creeping closer, bringing many more anxieties to light, variables I did not have to think about in the past. My situation is a ubiquitous one, looming over many students.

A solution that comes to mind is to get a masters, the justification being that I will at least be more qualified and it will open more doors. But what if it opens the wrong ones? A masters would be great if I was certain about my career path but there is no sense in wasting time to become qualified for a job I will never have. Even though this might be the case for my bachelor’s, there are jobs that accept applicants from any discipline since they only require the general skills acquired in university, such as critical thinking. This is not the case for a high school or even a pre-university CEGEP degree.

I’m also considering taking a year or two off. This is the most attractive option since I’ve been in school for so many consecutive years that it would be nice to take a break. Then again, I’m that person who gets bored after two weeks of summer vacation so perhaps it may not be the best idea. Still, my rationale is that I’ll be able to look for new experiences that will allow me to make a decision about my career path. The feeling that we need to keep moving is so pervasive nowadays, with many of us feeling that we cannot take a break or else we’ll fall behind. However,  a year or two off will do nothing in the grand scheme of things. If I’ll be working for 30+ years, I am more than willing to take the time off to make the right decision.

It is important to note that my concern has never been finding a job. There are trades that I can complete quickly that pay quite well. For better or worse, I want to find a job that I enjoy as I will spend the better part of my life doing it. Some people are able to see work only as a means of making money and pursue their hobbies during their free time. I wish I could be this rational but I have had positions that I found unfulfilling and they seeped the life out of me. The only thing I looked forward to was the end of the shift and I dreaded the next one as soon as I finished. Unfortunately, I am not this rational. I want a job that I can be proud of and build upon.

I have no right answer to this dilemma but I know that I will have to make a decision at some point. I think part of my troubles are caused by the idea that happiness is a state of being to be achieved. I know that this is not the case, that happiness is instead a series of moments interwoven in our daily lives. Still, it is hard to shake of this way of thinking since it is the norm that I grew up with.



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