Thoughts on Thursday – Choosing a Career Path, Education, and all that stuff..

I’ve been thinking..

I’m currently trying to decide what it is that I would like to study. Turns out it is just as hard to choose a career path at 22yrs as it was at 18yrs. BUT at least I have some idea from my experiences so far, of what I do and don’t like.

I was told in my senior year at High School, by my English teacher, that if I did not get a good result in my final exams, I would wind up stacking shelves at a supermarket for the rest of my life. There are a few things that annoy me about this statement.

  1. What’s wrong with stacking shelves? In fact, I did it for 4yrs after school and ended up becoming Supervisor of that department, and then gained 2nd in charge of another department. I learned how to manage people and run a department. I learned how to drive a forklift, manage stock, a lot about retail and a lot about the inner workings of a business… both good and bad.
  2. Why on earth would you say something like that? You’re a teacher! I think support is what students need, not fear and ultimatums.

It’s bad enough that we’re forced to go to school and learn a whole bunch of things.. most of which we wont use ever.. but then to have the pressure of being ‘successful’ or some shit. Do you know how hard it is to remember things that you really don’t give a shit about? People have breakdowns over these final exams/HSC. It’s so not worth it.

On another note, why didn’t they teach me about how to deal with people or how to write a cheque? What about how to buy a house, how to get a job, how to do taxes, how to vote, what political parties are and how they work, how to apply for a loan and what’s involved.. Like that one seems to make hella sense considering University is so freakin’ expensive! Hows about how to change a tyre, how to jump start a car, how to use a fire extinguisher, how to create a budget…?

I just learned a whole lot about how to write an essay, how to bullshit with big words and how to interpret and makeup the hidden meanings behind poems and why that song was played at that moment and how it was in context with what was happening and how it was a metaphor for the love of all things miserable. Most texts I remember studying were on the depressing side. Then I learned how to add a and b together to make (X+Y) – c over 5.. Or something. Don’t get me wrong, now that I have a desire to learn and have done my own research.. Mathematics is absolutely fascinating and the way some people use words, is absolutely beautiful, evoking such emotion.

I just think, maybe if we learned the basics, reading writing, mathematics etc.. If we wanted to explore more and more then we would… right?
Humans want to learn. We’re just wired that way.. we actually have a desire to learn, a thirst for knowledge. Why force it upon us when we can’t even really appreciate what we’re learning?

During my research I stumbled across a boarding school where all classes are optional. For the first few weeks, most kids just hung out and played in the playground. But with our natural desire for learning, the students eventually began to attend class because they actually wanted to learn something. Summerhill School. This school has had some critics, as with anything, but there are some pretty fascinating statistics going on..

There is nothing wrong with delaying your decision on your career path.. and there is nothing wrong with choosing your career path when recommended. I knew a lot of people who chose their degree’s based on income and because they had the marks to get in on that particular selection. This was something I was not comfortable with doing, so I went with the delayed option, got a full-time job and bought a house.

Now my brain is sending me signs that it wants something to learn and I actually have some interests and a little bit of an idea of what I may be interested in. Having experienced a bit of life, I think I am now ready to make the decision on what I would like to study..I think..  BUT why on earth is it so expensive? I was given a fair bit of shit for buying a house at 19 (there was also a lot of support). Their argument was that I have jumped straight into debt and into a debt I will have for the rest of my life. “Why didn’t you wait and live life first?”, “You’ve ruined your life!”. Problem with that is, for most people, going to UNI means jumping straight into debt too!

Here are a few points, mainly for seniors in High School but anyone who’s in this situation can get something from it. If you’re trying to decide what career path you should embark on, I have a few points I would like to share with you:

  • If you choose something to study, and find out it’s not your thing, you can always change degrees. There is no shame in that! Once you’re in UNI I hear it’s quite easy to jump from degree to degree. Once you’re in, you can almost do whatever you want.
  • Having a year off really isn’t as bad as everyone makes it seem. A lot of people say, if you have time off, you wont want to go back and study.. WRONG eventually you will want to learn something new. If it takes you 5 years, then it takes you 5 years, You’ll be all of 23 yrs old.. plenty of time to make a decision. Even if it takes you 10 years.. don’t stress. PLUS the experiences you have while living life can help you find out what you’re interested in.
  • Please don’t be pressured into anything.. My father, was accepted to study to be a Doctor, but his teachers told him Engineering would be more beneficial in the future, so he went with Engineering. Nothing wrong with that, but what if he really wanted to be a Doctor? Do what you really want, and really enjoy. Don’t try to please anyone else. It’s your life.
  • Maybe your career path doesn’t even need a UNI degree..? Yoga Instructor, Doula, Naturopath,  Social Worker, Childcare, Electrician, Fitter etc.. There’s loads.
  • If you don’t do well in your final exams/HSC it is not the end of the world.. It’s just a number and no way a true assessment of your intelligence.
  • Don’t stress. It’s totally not even worth it.
  • You can make money from anything. If you love it, do it and you’ll find a way to make money from it.
  • Art and creativity is just as awesome as being a Lawyer or a Doctor. (I find there is this stigma against artists and stuff.. and that they’re nothing careers..)
  • If you only want to be a mum, or a dad, that’s perfectly fine! If you’re happy working in retail, stacking shelves, cleaning.. that’s fine. There is nothing wrong with that. Success is not measured by career or income.. It’s a made up thing in your head.

Okay, I feel better now that’s off my chest. Aren’t stream of consciousness posts fun?  Thanks y’all.

Did you take time before choosing your career path or did you jump straight in? Did your first choice end up being what you really wanted? How many career changes have you had?

It’s been real,



This entry was published on March 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Thursday – Choosing a Career Path, Education, and all that stuff..

  1. Without thinking too hard about it, I do think part of the problem is the word “career”…. I think maybe that should be discarded and instead we ask ourselves what would we like to become involved in? There is less pressure with this and it also negates judgement between those jobs which require a degree. For example artists, shop owners, doctors, teachers, social workers, carpenters etc are all something that people decide to become a part of rather than some being considered as “careers” and others not!…..CONGRATULATIONS ELIZA……you finally got me to comment……….(not an easy task)…>Sandra xxxx


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