But what do I do if I don’t know?

Indecisiveness and being unsure of what I want have always been unattractive parts of my personality. Yet, recently these traits of mine have started to bother me much more than they used to. It was mainly my inability to realize my potential to the fullest as well as my low personal, professional and academic achievements that made me ponder over the problem. Surprisingly for myself, by looking deep inside I have discovered the following: not only am I unsatisfied with who I am, but what is more frightening, I have a rather vague idea of who I want to be.

Luckily, the posts Have you ever faced with a quarter-life crisis and I don’t want to work in my field! or Job-seekers of the 21st century made me aware of more people around me facing some of the same uncertainties. Have I chosen the right major for me? Will I be happy working in this sphere after the graduation? Should I change my major or is it already too late? These are all doubts that many of the students have during their studies at the university. I view such uncertainties as an obstruction on the way to one’s success.

The absence of clear goals frequently results in going with the flow. You go for the better opportunities offerred to you, but not necessarily the exact ones you want. Therefore, the reason why you often get somewhere you do not  fancy is your own unawareness of the desirable destination. In other words, not knowing your true passions might lead to having regrets later about your future career. Hence, it is highly essential to allow oneself to undertand your own self before making important decisions.

A gap year sounds like a possible way to come up with the right decisions. Gaining more life experience and devoting more time to listening to yourself might be of an advantage in situations, where youngsters are hesitant to opt for a career. In addition, the students that have taken a gap year tend to be more mature and have more motivation.

However, there are certain risks to take into account. Wasting a year and losing academic skills are just a few to mention. The idea of graduating a year later and being an older student in a group might put some of the students off. Moreover, your parents might disapprove the decision in fear that you could get lazy and will be unwilling to continue your studies.

What is your personal attitude towards taking a gap year? Can it be a solution to get rid of uncertainties? Are there any other pros and cosns of it that have not been mentioned? Why is it not a common practice in Kazakhstan?

References

Photo credit to http://clipart-library.com/man-thinking-cartoon.html

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3 thoughts on “But what do I do if I don’t know?

  1. Dear sashaxxxx, The issue you raised in the blog is a very common for the majority of my acquaintances. Most of them studied their undergraduate degree rather by wish of their parents not by their own decision. Because of the mentality of our society which also has a huge affection over my views I think that having a gap year is not a good idea at all. Perhaps having a gap year may help a person to get rid of uncertainties, I cannot say it for sure. I posit the view that it may be useful to sort out your goals, your dreams and finally decide of who do you want to be in this life in order to discard the uncertainties. If a person goes on thinking that he/she doesn’t know what to do in a life, even 10 years’ gap will not help them, do not you think so?!

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    1. Thank you, Dumankhan, both for the comment and the question in it. I think choosing the right thing sometimes requires time. In some ways choosing a career can be similar to choosing your research topic. You might know the topic even before you enter the university, you can come across something you want to research while reading something, but there are cases when students just have not identified their area of interest yet. I believe that if a student spends some time beneficially, in terms of understanding his/her interests or actively exploring new ideas, the research topic will come to the surface. If not, then this is an answer as well. I am not promoting dropping out from the university, but in some cases, spending several years studying something you do not need can be a waste of time.

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  2. Thanks for this post, Sasha. (5/5) You present a beautifully structured and carefully delivered discussion of an educational practice from your own personal viewpoint. By making yourself open and vulnerable, and by bravely sharing your honest reflections, you make yourself entirely relatable to the reader. Great blending of academic and personal writing styles.

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