Carnival, Mardi Gras, Spring break, Prom and what’s next?
It seems like your parents, friends and family just got back into their routine as the questions about your future became a little less frequent after the holiday season peak. Am I right?
Some of you already might have the plan, you know exactly which university you want to go and how to get accepted and if you get asked where you will be 5 years from now you can answer in three straight sentences. Done. Check. Have fun and don’t forget: Change is the only constant;-).
And then there is people like me.
It was February, Carnival season was just around the corner, and I kind of had a plan and I knew I would do something, but nothing was written in stone and nothing was confirmed at all.
I remember my parents being patient with me but nonetheless the big future topic was in the air every time we had dinner or just driving in the car with one of them one-on-one. It was a matter of time and it would come up again and the questions would become a little bit more direct.
The days went by, we had blast during carnival and it felt extra special since most of us would probably be working, studying or living abroad a year from now. Before we knew it was Ash Wednesday and with that deadline there were no more excuses in postponing and decisions or actions due to more parties or other super important happenings.
I needed to make something happen.
Having that said I did what all my friends did and what school offered. I attended lectures, I went to this so called “career fairs” and I tried to take advice from my teachers, friends of my parents that I liked and the world around me.
“What are your biggest talents?” What do you like doing? How are your grades looking? “
So many questions that I couldn’t answer and there was also nobody in school that prepped us for that. We learned almost everything about Germany and global history but who in the hell would help us figuring out the here and now, the future and most important about ourselves and what to do with ourselves?
Being in this dilemma I remembered one of my maxims DO WHAT YOU LOVE, LOVE WHAT YOU DO. I have always loved organizing birthdays, proms, New Year Parties or even small summer bbqs at our house watching world cup and co. I loved sport events and I knew I always managed to convince people to come to whatever party, event or happening I thought would be the place to be.
By talking about those strengths with my parents they had ideas like studying physical education in Cologne or to start with something super generic like or Germanism or Journalism at a University in a city I like. All I knew I wanted to do things and not have the feeling to learn learn learn again. I couldn’t wait for school to be over and they wanted me to go to the next school. So this didn’t sound super convincing.
Long story short, I did stick to the things I knew about myself and did not over think them.
Although the internet already existed, I used the regional yellow pages to look up event companies I could apply for an apprenticeship. Luckily the event industry containing of AV rental houses, agency and caterers in Frankfurt was not super big back then so it was easy to pick the companies that sounded the coolest. I choose three companies as I figured that would be enough and applied for an apprenticeship.
Couple weeks later I started an internship around the German Sport Gala at Frankfurt Festhalle which meant the world to me. A public event with my German sport idols, press, media and I would be involved and working on this gig? I couldn’t believe it and I enjoyed every single moment of it.
Since then I knew exactly what I liked doing, I also got the feedback that I seem to have talent in what I loved doing plus I had found a company I could start working at after the summer.
Knowing I was lucky being in the right spot at the right time, I am also convinced that nobody else than yourself can tell you what’s best for you and what you should do. If you listen to yourself and even if it sounds too simple or confusing you – you can use it. It doesn’t have to be university; it doesn’t have to be the job for the next 30 years (which is unrealistic anyways being in 2017). It needs to be what you want and you feel you are good at. That’s all what counts.
LISTEN TO OTHERS, BUT DON’T SILENCE YOUR OWN VOICE.