I am dazed and confused. And no, this is not an allusion to Richard Linklater’s film (1993); for I am not dazed due to any substance matter, but due to the uncertainty that lies in the future’s beholding, which naturally emerges as a product of my age and my stance in life as a teenager. I am also confused as I am lying in the middle of two pathways, one in which I know the end of, and whose completion may bring about average success, and the other which I do not, but whose ending may eventually lead to unforeseen happiness or rather unpredicted misfortune. The unknowingness is consuming me.
The culmination of our brain development occurs at age 25, however our previous decisions: what we studied, where we are living, or what field are we working on-that apparently mark the rest of our lifetime- are taken before we are fully mature as individuals. No wonder I am dazed and confused! Most adolescents, including me, are untrained to undertake massive decisions, and yet we are compelled and at times obliged to do so. As a result, we then find ourselves living a paradoxical life, having at a rear end of it things that include worrying about the prom dress, wondering why our crushes have not answered our messages, or asking for permission to go to the next big party. And at the other rear end of it there are things such as considering what we want to major in college, pondering on whether we would like to endure our families’ business or rather take a risk and fully develop a distinctive -completely unalike- career, and reflecting on whether we are or are not capable of living on our own at the “tender” age of 18. In other words, we find ourselves in a situation in which we have to select choices that are not only completely different in the maturity spectrum, but that are also distractive one to the other; that is a great amount of pressure to place in the bear hands of a 17 or 18 year-old individual.
In my situation specifically, I have two choices that are completely dissimilar one with the other. Each choice does not only affect my major in college, but also where I would like to study, and where would I live as a fully-grown adult. The choices are either to stay in my country and go to law school, or to leave and study sociology in an international school. The former is the predictable pathway. If I choose it there is a sense that my life will go as follows: I will study law school at a local university, get a job at a local firm, obtain my master’s degree, and then found a firm of my own in which I will support my family’s businesses. The latter is the uncertain pathway. If I choose it, my life will go as follows: I will study sociology in an international school, and then… I do not know. However, I am assured that since there is no certain job in my country for anyone who studies sociology, I will not be able to maintain myself, and therefore live in my country without the support of my family. And in a way, people then might insist that I take the first pathway, however there is an ambiguity in the other route that I find particularly attractive, as it is filled with a sense of unconformity. Nonetheless, I do not aspire to be a 1960s radical, a nonconformist for the sake of unconforming.
As a millennial, or early individual of the Generation Z, I truly want to make a change in the world, or at least have a voice and stand in it –as cliché as it may sound. I abhor those that say their “dream in life” is to be happy and have a family, for that is not a dream but rather an unoriginal circumstance/bypassing of life. Those people lack ambition and visualization of the opportunities they can regard. Therefore, in choosing on one of the pathways I can track though life, I will ask myself not simply what makes me happy, since at times we do not know what we truly want –especially at such a “tender age- but through which pathway will I make the greatest difference as that is what will make me happy. Still, my brain is not yet fully developed, and perhaps some antique person –accustomed to underestimating those my age- may say I am no good in predicting the future, nor do I know what will make me happy. However, I will do my best at attempting to savor both lifestyles: that of a sociologist, or that of a lawyer.
I am dazed and confused. And in a somewhat unconventional journal entry, I described my current existential crisis –one faced by most adolescents my age. To undertake such massive responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially if forced to choose between a lifestyle based on success and predictability versus one based on taking chances and unconforming. Whatever pathway that may be, either the road not taken or predictableness, I hope it will allow me to place my bear hands in cement. Uncertain in what lies in the future’s beholding, I will either be able to gaze with accuracy, or learn from my oversights.