Sam: How I Discovered What I ***DON’T*** Want to Do (And How You Can Too)

Me— 18, naive, senior in high school: “I will attend Boston University’s College of Communication, and I will be a world renowned journalist!” 

Me— 20, still naive, sophomore in college: “I have absolutely no desire to go into journalism, but good thing I love advertising! I’m going to be a copywriter at a big-city agency!”

Me — 21, STILL naive (and questioning if I will ever grow out of it), 3 months before graduating: “I. Have. NO IDEA. What I want to be.”

I wish I was the kid that came out of the womb knowing I was going to be an anesthesiologist, or the one who after watching my first episode of Law and Order: SVU was already on track to law school. But alas, senior year of high school I was amongst the vast majority, unprepared for my newly deemed adult-status and unaware of what my future would hold. I decided that my love for writing would have to get me through, so I chose to study journalism and dreamed of being the next Ann Shoket (former editor in chief of 17 Magazine, which I was a proud subscriber of). However, not too long into COM 101 I realized that loving something and being decent at something were two very different things, so I moved on, searching for the next path that could take me to my desired future of fulfilling contentment.

If I knew anything about my future, it was that I wanted to do something creative; I fluidly moved on from journalism to advertising, and thought I had found my next dream job. I took creative courses and joined extracurriculars, trying to hone my new passion for copywriting and design. However, this was only the beginning of years of “guess and check” where I tried to force myself into loving something that I didn’t in turn love. Between classes, internships and everything else, I found out exactly what I do not want to pursue as a career. 

So now I’m here, the future looming over me like a cloudy crystal ball, with no idea of what I want to do and a million ideas of what I don’t. But instead of feeling as though my trials and errors were wasted time, I am grateful for the failures that I have experienced that have helped develop exactly who I do want to be. I have found that learning what I don’t like to do helps narrow down everything that I enjoy. So while I may not know what will come in the new year, I do know with great confidence that I will not go to law school, join a team at a big-city agency, become an anesthesiologist, or work as a renowned journalist any time soon. 

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