It’s not the end of the world if you don’t know what you want to do


As a 20-year-old, the question, “Where do you see yourself when you graduate?” still remains. Yet, over the years my answer has changed significantly.

When I was young, I wanted to become a doctor or an artist. Then, in high school, I thought I would become an art or science teacher. Then, before I graduated, I applied for B.B.A. programs on a gut feeling. I didn’t know what area of business that I wanted to go into, but I knew I liked business and I’d have four years in university to figure out the details.

Two years have flown by and I am now in my third year at the University of Toronto. I still don’t know what I want exactly. Just when I think I’ve narrowed things down, I doubt myself. There is a part of me that could fit into any field in business. There is also a part of me that is afraid to pick the wrong one.

I like finance. I like human resources. I even like a little bit of accounting now and then. I might even want to go into law. I also like the idea of running my own business.

But, do I like any of the above enough to spend the rest of my life in that field? These questions used to make me nervous. I used to spend hours doing career aptitude tests and reading about different fields, all in an attempt to find my niche in the world.

After stressing out over what felt like “the rest of my life,” I decided to take the advice that a teacher once gave me: I don’t need to worry about the details because if I want to succeed, I will.

My point is you may not know exactly where you are going in life and that is perfectly acceptable. Career counsellors, teachers, parents, and friends might stress you out about the rest of your life, but it’s not as big a deal as it seems. Ask any successful person, and they will likely have changed their jobs or careers at least once, and it wasn’t the end of the world for them!

Life is not as complicated as we try to make it out to be. If we just let go, things will work themselves out. I have a rough idea of what I want for the rest of my life, and for once, that doesn’t worry me one bit.

About the author

Valerie Aguiar is a graduate from the Management Co-op Program at the University of Toronto Scarborough and winner of the 2011 EWO Co-op Student of the Year award. Valerie works in sales at Nestle Canada, where she also completed a co-op term. Outside of work, Valerie is actively involved with a youth program for middle school children.