I was 16 years old when I finished school and had no idea what I wanted to study after. In Perú, you finish school at 16 or 17. For me, that’s WAY too young to decide what you want to study or do for the next few years of your life (if it’s not for the rest of your life), but that’s just a part of the educational system that has no intention to change.
Since I had to go to university anyways, I decided I should study Industrial Engineering. I was ‘good at math, and good at chemistry’, or at least that’s how my mom convinced me that was the career I should pursuit. I started class, turned 17, and after a year and a half, realized I was miserable. I hated every single class.
Why on earth would people asume that 16 is a good age to decide what you want to study for the next 5 or 6 years? I’ve known a ton of people that wonder around the first year, or the first two years of studies because they really don’t know what they like, what they dislike, what they’re good at, what they’re not or simply what they would like to learn.
Luckily, I had a second chance, and I chose Communications. (I’ll finish up in July!)
I always feel grateful for having had that second opportunity. I know too many people that stuck with the first miserable career, maybe because they were afraid to change, or because they didn’t have the money to start over, or just because their parents wouldn’t let them do anything risky.
For too many years people in Perú have had to play it safe. There’s now been about 13 years of economic prosperity that are allowing us to actually be what we want to be. I just hope that people realize that playing it safe, will never make them entirely happy, and what’s the point on being unhappy five days a week? If you think you’ll be able to make up for that time once you retire, think again… and remember you can always change!