“Okay, what do I do now?”
This question is constantly running through my mind. I think many people can say the same around this age.
We are all always trying to figure out our next move, it’s like we never truly get a break to just…. breathe.
Growing up, our generation heard the same words often, “go to school,” “get good grades,” “go to a good college,” “graduate and find a good job.”
That was the expectation our parents had for us. This made sense because our parents were born in a generation where they all had to work hard to get where they are today.
What our families fail to realize is how difficult this process truly is.
From a young age, I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment business in some way. I loved reenacting movie scenes and putting on performances for my family. I was obsessed with music. I played piano and loved to sing. I was inspired by Alicia Keys, she was my idol.
As time went on, the insecurities came through, which changed my mind about what I really wanted to be for a while.
I kinda felt lost when it came to knowing what I wanted to be, but I was young and I knew I had time.
Once I got into my junior year of high school, it was time for me to really think about what I wanted to do for a career. Selecting a college was such a big decision for me, I needed to make sure I applied to a school that offered exactly what I wanted.
This was so much pressure at such a young age, I felt lost. I knew I loved entertainment and I always considered it a dream. I was told by my highschool teacher that it was too risky and I should pick something that would last me forever. Her words made sense at the time.
I decided to take the safe route and apply to Mercy College to study physical therapy. My interest in it lasted one day, as I sat in my anatomy and physiology class and realized how terrible I am at science, which was all this major consisted of.
At that very moment, fear took over my mind. I felt like a failure. I was lost and had not one clue what I wanted to do with my life.
I was nervous to tell my family that this was not for me. They were so proud at my high school graduation, the last thing I wanted to do was disappoint them.
I sat down with my mom and best friend and they both suggested the entertainment field. I’ll never forget the feeling I had when my mom told me “you were put on this earth to help people, figure out how you want to do that, use your voice.”
They both encouraged me to go into entertainment because there aren’t a lot of women in the field. They wanted to see me inspire and create. That is exactly what I did.
The next day, I went and changed my major to radio and television production. I sat in my first class and realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do, I felt so inspired.
I knew nothing within my career path was guaranteed. I knew this was a risky business to get into. In this industry nothing is promised.
A few months passed and I decided to go and visit my best friend, Lovie. At the time, she worked on a television show for OWN called “Greenleaf.” She played the main character, Zora.
Lovie asked me if I wanted to go on set with her, and of course, I said yes.
That was an experience I will never forget. I remember the gates to the stage opening and seeing the set and all the cameras and trailers. I was amazed. Throughout the day, I met the actors, the production assistants, and even the director. I was able to sit right behind the director when they were filming.
Everyone on set was so happy, this was just extra clarification for me that it was exactly where I needed to be.
I’ve been studying and I can not for years now, and I couldn’t be more grateful, although I may not know my exact next steps. I know I am exactly where I need to be at this very moment.
After telling my other relatives what I wanted to do, I was surprised to find out that it was exactly what they wanted me to do ever since I was little. “I could always see you working in this field,” my grandmother said. And come to think of it, she could. She was the one who got me to play the piano. She was the one who always took me to plays and concerts. She always pushed me to do what made me happy.
Being in your 20s feels sometimes like time is running out. In reality, we’ve got nothing but time. There is no time limit on your success, as long as you keep working hard for yourself.
The best advice that I have ever received was:
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
What our generation fails to realize is that we create our own narrative. We shouldn’t feel like we have to be rich, and we don’t have to be exactly like our parents, we don’t always have to work a 9-5 to be successful. We create our own meaning of success.
As a senior in college, I have two options: either freak out and wonder what my next move is and worry about success 24/7 or I can keep working at my goals and keep in my mind that I am EXACTLY where I need to be.
So, if you are in your 20s, it is important to realize, yes, the real world is coming at you fast, but you still have time to make mistakes, you’re still young. Don’t waste your 20s stressing about where you’re going to be in your 30s. Use your 20s to find what you love and pursue it.