What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?”

Kayla Timmerman, Co-editor-in-chief

A question we have been asked all of our lives: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It makes you think no matter what age you are. “What do I want to do in the future as a career?” There are so many possibilities, and trying to pick something that will be a huge part of your future is hard to do. However, the mentality of how we react to this question has changed as we get older. The joy of the question disappears and fear comes into play. How we high schoolers react to this question now versus how we reacted to it ten years ago is very different. 

In elementary school, this is a great question to ask kids to get them to think. Maybe a little kid wants to be what their mom or dad is, or maybe they want to be something they saw on TV. Some of their answers range from things like ‘an astronaut’ to ‘a ballerina.’ They use their imagination to think of something really cool that they want to be one day. Overall, kids get really excited to answer this question and love telling people what they want to be one day. In elementary school, I wanted to be things like an actor and a fashion designer, which is almost the complete opposite of what I want to be now. The thing is, kids don’t need to determine the path of their lives right then and there. They’re only in elementary school with so many more years of middle and high school coming without needing to face the reality of getting a job and picking a career just yet. They’re still young with so much more ahead of them. 

In high school, this question weighs us down in a way no one wants. Some people know. Some people’s answers haven’t changed since elementary school. Some people don’t have a single clue. This question scares us high schoolers, especially seniors who are going to college in less than a year, and need to pick a major that will guide us on a path to begin the rest of our lives. High schoolers, especially seniors, feel like we should know exactly what we want to be or else we won’t succeed. Those who don’t know look around at everyone who has their path planned out, and they feel lesser than them. However, that’s not the case at all. We’re still young with so much more ahead of us. People who know what they want to be are no better or worse than the people who don’t know. Seniors in high school shouldn’t have to fear that question, because they still have so much time ahead of them to figure it out. 

There is no way at seven you can have your whole life planned out, just like there is no way at seventeen you can have it all planned out. It’s okay to not know what you want to be, and there’s no reason to be scared of that one little question. Whether you’re seven or seventeen, you have a whole life ahead of you and time to change your mind and test out different jobs and careers. So, if you don’t know what you want to be yet, don’t worry and don’t be scared. There’s always time.