What do you want to be when you grow up?

My first blog post is going to be one about decisions, and my inability to make them. I’m a 21 year old student, halfway through my Law with History degree. But I’m also a Libran, and although I’m not all too convinced about horoscopes, I think they’re right when it comes to my indecisiveness (and dislike for conflict, but that’s another story). My dilemma is that i haven’t the faintest notion of what I’d like to do with my life.

You’d think, doing a law degree, that I’d have ambitions for the bar, or being eyeing up the Chief Justice’s post in fifteen year’s time. But nah, not really. I could change my mind forty times between now and when I don my mortar board, but in the last few months I’ve found myself leaning towards the history aspect of the degree. Law can be very interesting, even riveting in some aspects. Irish criminal law and its various facets tell a fascinating story of a fledgling state trying to find its own judicial identity since the 1920s. However, aside from my property law module making me want to plant my face in my desk at times, the actual legal profession does not appeal to me at all. I’m not all that interested in highly traditional, hierarchical structures. Must be the tiny little anarchic hippy inside me.

My question is how people know what they do want to do in their careers. I know people who knew they wanted to be doctors, lawyers, vets, nurses, policemen or teachers since they were knee-high to nothing. If you’d ask me, aged five, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d have said ‘a fairy princess’. So, unless I start handing out CVs at Disneyland, it appears that the five year-old me would be disappointed with her future choices. 

I think everyone has their secret, never-ever-gonna-happen-but-I-like-to-dream-about-it-anyway dream career. Mine is to be a fashion model; I love fashion and what lady who is interested in fashion wouldn’t love to be a glamorous, beautiful model wearing the latest clothes by the world’s most talented designers? But that ambition was kind of scuppered when I stopped growing at the age of thirteen, at 5ft 1″. And I don’t exactly resemble Cara Delevingne. I could try to enter other areas of the fashion field; but apart from fashion writing and/or blogging, I have neither the creativity to get into design, nor the talent for make-up artistry or hair styling. As for the business side of things, well I probably have the commercial acumen of a six year-old. Journalism isn’t off the cards, but I guess I need to hone my skills before I go sending my samples off to British Vogue.

Journalism in any guise is, however, a career that I have considered over the last few years. What I need is a crash course in media writing, some constructive criticism and some self-motivation when it comes to starting at the bottom. I don’t think I’m a bad writer; I wouldn’t be writing a blog if I thought I was. Since school, I enjoyed writing everything from opinion pieces to short stories to essays about the theme of good and evil in King Lear. I always performed well in English, but I think I need someone to tell me, outside of the sheltered classroom, that I might have what it takes. A postgrad in journalism or media studies could well be the way to go for me. There is something rather glamorous about being a writer, in a Carrie Bradshaw kind of way – in my head anyway. But as I said before, I’m liable to change my mind more often than my underwear.

And then there is the aforementioned history route. I love history, I immersed myself in history books and historical fiction even as a child. Even today, any kind of plotline is instantly more interesting to me if it involves a world war, the Renaissance or a stately house in the nineteenth century. Being a curator in a museum sounds like the best fun ever, for a history nerd who loves organising stuff. A postgrad in history is also an option for me. I just need to get over my slight hatred for historiography…

As for my part-time job, a waitress in a busy hotel bar, I can unequivocally say that hospitality and retail will absolutely not feature among my future career aspirations. One usually comes to these conclusions whilst cleaning children’s vomit off the carpet and their mother doesn’t leave a tip.

So, there’s my first blog post. About the future. Very philosophical for someone who never could quite understand anything about Plato.

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5 thoughts on “What do you want to be when you grow up?

  1. Pingback: What do you want to be when you grow up? | ilyanaroseblog

  2. Figuring out what I wanted to do in life while I was in university was the toughest choice I ever made! If I can give you any helpful tips, it would be to approach your choice the same way historians approach a problem – research! Go find people who have the jobs you want and interview them. Ask them what they like and don’t like. Trust me! For example, I always thought I’d want to work in a museum, but then when I did it, it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t make the wrong decision, I just had to experience it to know I didn’t like it. I wish I had interviewed someone in a museum instead of wasting a whole summer.

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    • That’s great advice, thank you! I really should get into contact with people working in the areas I’m interested in. Two weeks in a solicitor’s office was enough for me to know that it wasn’t for me!

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      • And trust me, people love to talk about themselves! I thought everyone would hang up on me when I eventually started phoning, emailing, etc. Most people agreed on the spot when I asked to interview them and even allowed me to shadow them for the day. You’d be surprised how accommodating complete strangers can be when you tell them you’re interested in their field!

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