Roving reporter Dayna offers some advice to those who are trying to work out where their career path lies.
As a full-time, ever-graduating student, I completed VCE in 2003 and unlike the majority of my year-level then, I had no idea what my career path was going to be. I knew that I loved reading and writing, so I opted to study Journalism and Arts at uni. Unfortunately my somewhat average ENTER scores meant that I had to wait for second round offers.
It was the first year of my entire life that I didn't have that strange-yet-secure sensation that school would be waiting my return after the summer holidays.
Cast your net wide
I applied to every Arts course that would let me study a multitude of subjects that tickled every curious fancy I had. I craved knowledge and the only thing that felt right was to follow my own personal interests, wherever they led me.
With some smart planning and a sprinkle of luck, I was accepted into the Liberal Arts course at university.
For the first year of my 'adult life', I studied literature, history, politics, sociology, art, business, economy, cinematography, writing, cultural studies and advanced research.
Six months into my studies I came to learn that the majority of my former school friends, ones who were accepted into very 'prestigious' courses, had all dropped out or deferred from studies until they'd done some soul-searching.
Picking a path
It was about this time I decided I was going to go on and study writing, my favourite pastime as a child.
Having recently gained my Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing, I found myself slowly but surely inching closer to the career I've always dreamed of having. Of course, at present, I've yet to feel the fame that comes from writing an international best-seller, but I'm finding my life choices coming together and pushing me towards my ambitions.
After starting my writing course, I've gained casual employment at a children's publisher and had the opportunity to meet writers across all genres, not to mention being able to voice my opinion and write articles for youthcentral.
It may not come close to being a world-famous author, but the thrill I get when I see my articles online is rewarding. All of this, in its own special way, has come about from the years I spent asking myself what I wanted out of life.
Dealing with the pressure
The pressure on teens to know their career paths at the age of 17 is absurd. I was only one out of hundreds of people I knew who decided to take their time and not settle for anything less than my own happiness.
For four years since the end of high school, my friends have worked menial jobs in menial places whereas I opted to study. The doors of possibility opened up for me and led me into a world full of opportunities I never could've imagined.
So the advice I have for you, the world-changers of the future, is to take your time! Listen to your inner voice and ask yourself constantly what makes you happy. The race to finish uni first or have the nicest things is only a roadblock that inhibits your personal growth and ultimately your destiny.
My friends have brand new cars and the latest fashions, but I am much stronger because I wake up every day and believe in what I am doing and what I am aiming for.
I feel confident in my work and my choices and I am happy because as I inch ever closer to my chosen career as an author, I am ultimately inching closer to becoming myself.
Wouldn't it have been grand if, when we were children, we could have said, when I grow up, I want to be me!
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