Advice Column: Response to Next Phase

Dear Hailey,

I’m at a weird moment in my life. A question has, in sense, hit me and made me think of what I really want to do with my life. The question: “What would you do if money was not an issue?” was brought to my 28 year old self attention and I did not have answer and that made the whole thing make me feel like I was out of place. Would I travel? Write? Become a baker? Maybe a fitness instructor?

And it seems that my husband has found this answer for himself and is having him head back to college at the age of 30. Though I have lightly thought of the topic; going back to school does worry me. I never graduated college due to lack of self confidence, being a twenty year old who thought she knew things, and struggling with classes overall.

I fear that my fear will be holding me back, but I’m also worried that jumping into schooling or looking into my hobbies to see what career I might want might end up biting me in the end.

Besides that obvious of taking my time to reflect, maybe try new things, and asking those close to me what goals or careers they see me in, what advice would you give to someone like me who is genuinely scared of this epiphany?

Next Phase

Dear Next,

It’s understandable to be apprehensive about starting or even just exploring a new path. Especially when one of the options on the table is college, which comes with the commitments of time and money. Also, introspection is scary, but absolutely essential to progress forward in life.

You have the right idea. Talking to people you trust, trying new things, and self-reflection will all put you in the right direction. I do have a few more suggestions for you in addition to what you have already mentioned.

I’d recommend taking an interest inventory. This can direct you to find that sweet spot where your hobbies and potential careers collide. The Holland Code will show you categories you might enjoy, and The Future Findr on the Next Steps Idaho website will give a list of occupations that align with your interests. (There are hundreds more like these available, but these two are free, and don’t require you to make a username/password).

Something else to think about is what you wanted to be when you were a kid. Sometimes our younger selves had the best idea of what path we should take, before life got complicated.

It’s also important to remember that college doesn’t need to be a 4 year degree. It might, but it could also mean a technical training, a certificate, or an associate’s degree.

If you do decide to go back to college, take advantage of the resources available on campus. The tutoring center, disability resources (if applicable to your situation), study skills workshops/classes, etc can be essential to success in college. College students very often do better the second time around, because they know where they went wrong the first time, and also how important organization, focus, and commitment are.

I wish you luck in this journey, and I hope you can find a path that you find enjoyable, fulfilling, and sustainable. Do your best to put your fears aside, and dive right in! What do you have to lose?


Posted in Q&A

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