Below are a few pieces of advice I wish someone would have given me at the young age of 18.
Moving to Colorado and taking this hiatus from college has become quite eventful.
I've changed more in this one year of living here than I have in the previous 21 years combined.
Even though I'm not exactly sure what I want to do for the rest of my life, I'm a lot happier now than I was previously before.
I'm not sure what I want to do, I feel a lot less “lost” feeling that I felt when I was enrolled in college.
1. You do not need to go straight to college.
To be honest, I enrolled in college because I assumed that's what I had to do.
Even though I had no idea what I wanted to do (so I simply picked a major because that's the field my current job was in, although I had no experience in any other fields). I didn't even give myself the chance to pick something I was honestly passionate about.
In my mind, I thought the outline was: 1. Graduate high school. 2. Enroll in college and know what I want to do for the rest of my life. 3. Apply and get a job in my field. 4. Learn to like it.
Related: How I've Seen 5 Continents By Age 23
2. Stemming off of #1, you do not need to know what you want to do for the rest of your life at such a young age.
I know people who are over 50 years old and wish they would have waited a little bit and pursued a major they were honestly passionate about.
I want to know that I at least attempted to figure out what I would become happiest doing.
3. Travel as much as possible, and leave the relationship stuff out of your life for a few years.
At a young, impressionable age of 18, I thought relationships and having a boyfriend was the reason for my existence.
I was tied down, not because a boyfriend told me to stay, but because I didn't know there was anything else out there to offer in life besides a loving boyfriend.
I didn't realize I had the whole world in my hands, with a long list of opportunities. I've traveled extensively since being out of this relationship. I've been to 3 continents and have learned an astronomical amount about myself.
I strongly urge everyone to travel a bit before enrolling in college.
You will become an entirely different person and come closer to figuring out who you are.
Above: Venice, Italy
4. It might take you a few years to decide what you want to do.
I'm 22 years old and still not entirely sure what I want to do. Actually, there are a TON of careers I want to pursue, but I cannot choose just one.
5. What you decide now will probably not be what you want to do in a few years.
You're going to change, become an entirely different person. I can't believe that I was supposed to (by social stigma) choose a career path at the age of 18 when my sole focus in my head was partying.
How was I supposed to make a life-altering decision at such a young age? I was still learning about the world and myself.
I'm a completely different person now at age 22 than I was at age 18. My priorities are entirely different. I do not smoke, drink, party and my ethical viewpoints in life have changed entirely.
I learned that I no longer want to work in the field I'm currently in (special needs). Although it took me 5 years to realize this, I'm happy I realized it now and did something about it rather than stayed in it forever.
There are some people that are lucky enough to know what they want to do at such a young age.
Then, there are others like me, that have no idea what they want to do but are too overcome with the pressure and social stigma of going to college right after high school.
I'm not sure where the next few years will take me, but I've decided to learn to love the obstacles I am constantly faced with.
I'm actually quite excited that I've become passionate about so many other career paths rather than I thought I was set out for the rest of my life.
Above: Rome, Italy
What other pieces of advice would you tell someone at such a young, impressionable age?
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