The Voice

Victoria Nguyen

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“When I was five years old, I told my parents I wanted to be a veterinarian.

Four years later, I told them I wanted to be a marine biologist.

Three years after that, I told them I wanted to be a cancer researcher. Then, after taking AP Biology, I realized I was too dumb, so that goal quickly changed into something more realistic.

Finally, during junior year, I ‘decided’ that I wanted to pursue a career in the federal government.

However, despite applying for a major in relation to this hopeful career, I’m keeping an open mind for the possibility that my interests may change in the future. That being said, I want to emphasize one important thing that I’ve learned throughout my life thus far – the importance of time.

Time. It’s a funny thing. It passes by in a blink of an eye when we’re with our friends yet also seems to never pass when we’re in our least favorite classes (in my case, that’s every class except lunch). It’s something we can never get back, yet is also something that is seemingly endless.

So what exactly was the point of me listing my career goals from a young age? It was to stress that no matter where you are in life, you have time to change your mind and figure out what you want to do. No matter if you’re 18, 28, or 48 – you have time, and it’s never too late to do something completely different.

So many people are stuck with the mindset that everything in life has to be completed at a certain age. Graduate high school at 18. Graduate college at 22. Go to graduate school (or get a job at 22) and then in the process, think about marriage and the life to follow. That being said, these same people are ashamed if they’re ever delayed and if they don’t accomplish these goals by their ‘deadlines.’

But that’s the thing. Life doesn’t have deadlines. Just because you change your major or career choice five times doesn’t make you less successful than an individual who stuck with his or her chosen path since 18.

So don’t be afraid to screw up. Consider these moments as additional life experience. Everyone is trying to find his or her way in life, and if that means making a ton of bad choices (this does not mean go and murder someone) in order to finally make that one GOOD and LIFE-CHANGING choice, then so be it. Time, even though it is short, is endless. So use that time to discover who you are, and don’t be ashamed if you don’t know who that is. Whether you’re 18, 28, or 48; find your purpose and don’t let it go.”

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Victoria Nguyen