It’s the forever question. What do I want to do now. And it is very calming to realize that you’re not the only asking yourself that question. There is something known as the after-grad depression. You can google it. From the moment we are born there is always a strict plan to follow. The first year of life you get fed from your mom’s boobs (if your mom is a stay at home mom, which she probably isn’t because most of modern women feel the need to fulfill some kind of purpose through working and still having kids at the same time and regard the thought of having a fulfilled life as a mother as an endless joke and failure - without having ever seriously considered it). At some point you’re supposed to start getting your first teeth. Then you learn your first words. You’re supposed to know ‚mom‘ before ‚dad‘ and ‚yes‘ before ‚no‘, ‚please‘ and ‚thank you‘ at the same time or the nice elderly lady that lives next door will be shocked for life when she gifts you a cookie. Best case scenario you learn several languages at once. The second you turn three years old you’re supposed to be in kindergarten, latest at six you’re in elementary, best case scenario you know how to write ‚mom‘ and ‚dad‘ before you walk into school the first day, just to make sure that mom and dad can tell their friends that you’re gonna be a little genius. I mean with those genes there was no way they could’ve turned out differently you know?
Theres already a lot of ‚supposeds‘ in the first paragraph.
In Germany at the age of 9/ 10, your primary school teacher will decide according to the grades (that this one person gives you) and according to the amount of sympathy (that this one person has for you), if you’re allowed to go to the Gymnasium, which sets you off on the German Elite path of academia, even though I am not sure if one can call it an Elite path when over 50 % of the populations' children take it, since the sole purpose of calling something Elite is highlighting its rarity.
Anyways, after this one person has decided if you’ll be allowed to go to University, you may be lucky enough to start your Highschool which takes you seven years if you choose the short cut. After that, yes you have a little crisis - if you don’t have super strict and neither super poor parents. Do I go to Australia or New Zealand for a year? Or would I rather travel through South East Asia on the hunt for the perfect yoga pants with elephants on them? Do I do work and travel or do I become an O-Pair? (If you’re a guy I guess its chosen for you, but I don’t wanna discriminate, Modern Family has a Manny too).
If you’re insane/ not confident enough to make your own youthful decisions and have rich parents who low key don’t want you to „waste“ a year randomly traveling and surfing through life (or Australian waters) without a purpose and aim, you do a super expensive one year journalism degree and rarely have fun or travel in that time because you’re basically working five days a week from 10 to 5 with the same amount of holiday a normal working person has. (Its obviously a trap kids.)
If you’re the usual German potato who didn’t have the balls to do work and travel or a one year journalism/arts/yoga degree, you embark on the University journey right out of Highschool which is insanity as well, but okay. (Apart from my ex-boyfriend no one really knows themselves enough at that age to make a useful decision on what degree they wanna study but parents don’t like to hear that - he’s always wanted to be a doctor he saved a fly once he’s made for the job).
If you’re wondering what the right thing to do at that age is, I obviously am completely unqualified to answer that question. But work and travel and O-pair is definitely not a bad way to go. If you have the money and social ambitions, I'd go to Mongolia, Africa, Berlin or whatever and help build a school or help in a hospital, see how shit life is in some places, come back and be grateful to able to go to Uni, to have clean water. Or travel the world, visit a National park, see all the animals that are gonna be gone by the time you’ve finished Uni. That’s why the whole „Im gonna travel the world once Im done with Uni“ bullshit is the biggest mistake ever. What if you don’t have enough money then? What if you don’t wanna fly on planes anymore because your shaman told you not to? What if you have a kid or a golden retriever by then? What if your parents low key tell you to start working since you’ve ‚holidayed‘ enough at Uni? But whatever makes you sleep at night.
I do think it’s wrong though to expect from kids to make a responsible and well thought out decision about their life at that point. Don’t expect anything from them in that year. Just let them do their thing, as long they’re leaving the place they did high school at. Definitely don’t tell them what to do. Probably you shouldn’t even suggest anything, because too many kids take parents’ suggestions and just go with that (even if they sell it as their own decision), because at this point in life they are smart enough to not trust themselves enough to make their own decisions and
they’re stupid enough to think that mom and dad have it all figured out and always make the perfect decisions (or suggestions). This whole point could be an essay on its own so lets cut it off right here.
So then at some point you go to Uni and you do your