Quick background: I packed my U-Haul on my 18th birthday and drove here from Seattle. I started college when I was 20 years old after working in retail for two years. Real life smacked me right in the face at 18, scraping by for rent and barely affording food. 40’s and Ramen was my bloodline. One day it dawned on me that if I couldn’t afford my cheap rent, food, and booze how was I supposed to ever save for a house or possibly support a child? Fear of the future is what drove me to go to college.
I decided to aim high, I went straight for pharmacy school. I wanted to make a lot of money and have job security. The issue? Potentially 6 years of school. So I switched to getting my bachelors in Chemistry.
I was constantly worrying about what was after school. Would I make enough money? Would I be happy? Would money make me happy? What the f*ck am I doing? This summer I had what some would say was a quarter life crisis. I woke up one day so extremely unhappy. I hated where I was going in life (I had no dreams of being a chemist or grad school), I didn’t love my boyfriend anymore, and most of all I was losing sight of who I was. So I dumped my boyfriend, switched my major to marketing, and made a pact with myself to never think so seriously about the future again.
Plans blind you.
When I thought I had it all figured out, when I made my 5 year plan, when I envisioned myself in a lab making cool drugs, is when I said no to opportunities. I had tunnel vision. I was only seeing what I wanted to see, I was only networking with people that I thought could help me get ahead. I’ve now fully adopted the philosophy that everything and everyone is an opportunity. Talk to anyone you meet, you never know what will happen.
A few weeks ago I was back home in Washington and took an Uber ride to the airport. He was a retired consultant that drove for fun. He is now my mentor and helping me in starting my second LLC to do marketing for one of his startups. Did I think that would happen from a car ride? Hell no, but here I am and I couldn’t be more excited and scared at the same time.
When someone asks you what you want to do after school, it’s okay to say you have no idea (I do it all the time). Don’t think you have to be the person you set out to be. Make plans but stay flexible. Talk to anyone and everyone. Never say no to a solid opportunity, even if it scares the shit out of you. I know I don’t have anything figured out and I’m finally 100% okay with that.