How future plans transform


photo by Cassi Viox

Rebecca Gray

“When I was little I used to want to be a detective. Then it changed to wanting to be a food critic, but then my dad told me I would end up working at McDonald’s,” freshman Madeline Monsees said. “After a while I got into singing and musical theater and wanted to be on Broadway really badly.”
Over the years, it’s not uncommon for people’s ideas to change. At one point some may want to be an astronaut but later, actually want to be a writer. As they get older, they continue to change their minds.
In fact, about 80 percent of students in the United States end up changing their majors at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
For some, their ideas change often, but others may be sure of what they want.
“When I started at Mizzou, I was a journalism major because everyone who goes to Mizzou is a journalism major at some point.,” studies teacher Nicole Clemens said. “I have been told my whole life that I should go to Mizzou and become a journalist. Once I got into the nitty-gritty of what that would look like for me as an adult every day for the rest of my life, I had a hard time picturing myself in those moments.”
In his book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, economist Neil Howe asserts that only about five percent of people find a good career match on their first try. He says it is because of the pressure people feel in their 20s to find the perfect job. Monsees said that is something she has already picked up on.
“I have no idea what I want to do. I have had so many different ideas of things I thought I want to do, but all of them have changed and went away,” Monsees said. “I always pick something and believe that it will be what I will do with my life, but then I find other things. I just want to settle.”
It can be confusing for some to decide what they want to do. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, on average a college student changes their major at least three times.
“For some students there are experiences they go through from sophomore to junior or junior year to senior year, that change their idea of what they want to do,” counselor Jordan Alexander said. “Quite a few people have their ideas change, but for some they just know.”
Regardless of the many who struggle with making their decision, there are still those who are sure of what they want. The Rock surveyed freshmen at RBHS; 31 percent said they know what they want to do. Freshman Sidharth Kutikkad is one of the third in his class who says they do know what they want.
“I do know what I want to do,” Kutikkad said. ”In previous years I have gone back and forth between a few careers but they were all the same type of job. I’ve always just known about what I want.”
Adults, too, know how changes occur in their career desires. The Department of Labor finds that about one third of the total workforce will change jobs every 12 months, noting that by the time someone is 42, he or she will have had about 10 jobs. Someone who has found their career is physics teacher Malcolm Smith.
“The main jobs I have had went from a mechanical engineer, to a teacher, to a nuclear engineer and back to a teacher. One of the reasons I came back to teaching was because it was more fun, and I enjoyed it more,” Smith said. “I enjoy it. It is worth the work of going through many jobs and ideas to find the one you enjoy and will be able to stay in.”
By Rebecca Gray
photo by Cassi Viox