When I was younger, I had all these little ideas about who I would be when I grew up—of who I wanted to be when I got older and where I thought I’d be going

Though here I am today, with eighteen just around the corner, and I’m not sure if I can even be who I thought of.

Of course, I thought⁠—rather dreamt⁠—I should be an astronaut or a pilot; who hasn’t? For a while I thought about being a chemist; then I only passed Chem 215 because of a pandemic. I thought about being an author or journalist, a writer of some kind, but I can’t motivate myself to write often.

And now I’m almost eighteen, and none of those jobs seem right. None of those paths are mine, and it feels so wrong. I’m watching my peers get accepted into colleges. I have a friend who is accepted to and going to Michigan Tech, but I plan on living in my parents’ house.

I haven’t even applied to colleges, and yet people younger than me are already doing it. It’s a little hard to watch, seeing as I still don’t even know who I want to be anymore.

It feels like all my skills have led to this moment, but there is nothing in it. Writing? A passion that I can’t even choose to pursue. Video games? I’ve played less than five in the past month. Music? Too much luck, even if I have the skill.

I’m turning eighteen, and I thought that I’d be more. I thought that I’d be going off to university in the fall. I thought I’d be attending college, not considering it.

But as time has marched on, I find myself stagnant. I found that with the moving of time, I have just lost ideas. The only reason I’m excited to be eighteen is that I get a pay raise and I’m closer to being out of school.

The dream jobs I once had have all been for naught. Let’s be honest, I was never going to be an astronaut. I couldn’t make it like a chemist, and even if I started to love writing, even more, there’s a good chance that I wouldn’t even be able to write the first few pages.

I thought that I’d be going off to university in the fall. I thought I’d be attending college, not considering it.

At least I have one job that lines up, and surprisingly, it’s in the customer service industry. If you asked me any number of years ago, I would have said that working in customer service would be a nightmare, but now? It’s a passion. 

With that passion, however, comes doubt. Am I really going to work in fast food till I’m thirty? Will I move on to better things? Can I move on to better things? Will I become a server destined to live off gratuity, or will I be paid a living wage without the need for luck? 

Turns out, life isn’t as clear cut as I thought it would be. I’m turning eighteen, and I don’t know where life will take me.