Unprepared teens choose life career


Graphic by Josh Martin

By Alexandra Dalton

Graphic by Josh Martin
Graphic by Josh Martin

Staff Writer

In today’s age, as a 16-year-old student, I am allowed to dictate what college I think fits me the best. If I were born on a leap day, I would be exactly four years old, pressured to take the world by storm but not allowed to decide on the president that might decide my future.

I am allowed to design a schedule that will play a role in determining my career path, but not allowed to get a tattoo that will have just as long lasting effects. If the adolescent brain is not developed enough to drink alcohol, then how could it possibly be prepared enough to decide on something so monumental?

The New York Times wrote an article “How to rebound from the wrong career choice”
demonstrating the ill effects from picking your career too early.

“What if you’re not happy in your job? Is it possible that you’re in the wrong career entirely?” Times writer Phillis Korkki wrote. “This conundrum is all too common. The pressure to ‘be’ something starts early in life. Many children move past wanting to be professional athletes, rock stars or astronauts, but then their parents, peers and teachers begin to exert influence — maybe before young people even know where their inclinations lie.”

Since the beginning of teenage pressure there has been a decrease in the happily employed. If everyone had a passion for his or her work, it would be faced as a privilege, not a chore.

TIME wrote a story titled “You probably hate your job; but you don’t have to”, published on July 27, 2013. In the article, Gallup’s 2013 state of the American workplace report said that 70 percent of employees are emotionally disconnected from their workplace, 18 percent being so unhappy that their lashing out at coworkers in discontent.

With these statistics, there is no way to know what my future holds for me. Because of these facts, it is wild to believe something that entertains me now will still hold my interest in years to come.

If I cannot go to the bathroom without permission, how should I be expected to handle picking out a career of my choice? Teachers feel inclined to treat us according to our age, but have no issues with expecting us to figure out huge things by ourselves.

Teenagers are expected to be able to handle all of the professional responsibilities without the privilege of the personal ones. Even when I get a good grade on a test I have been up all night studying for, I am still not allowed to stay out until midnight.

It is a double-edged sword that is crippling America; pressuring us to make decisions we do not know how to make with the advice that this is just a part of growing up. But what part of growing up is equivalent to walking down the street with a blindfold on?

We do not know what the future holds for us, or how we will learn from them, yet adults expect us to already know the information it took them years to cultivate.

With my future mapped out already, how do I know if my passions of today will still be viable tomorrow? After all, I am just a “kid” who knows “nothing”.

Something we can do to fix this is to try to explore more, and constrain ourselves less. If we have the abilities to experience all the things we are “too young for” then we will have a better perception of ourselves over time.

Being more cultured as always equated to knowledge, so with the new information we learn, we would be able to pick the job or career that fits us best personally. We have to be trusted enough to find ourselves because that is what growing up is all about.

We have to get out more with the acceptance of the adults around us. If we are allowed to do more than study core classes, we could be able to find our passion that makes us whole now, instead of finding it at age 50.