I wish I could still share my aspiration to be a princess


It was much easier back when I could be a princess.

I have never known what I want to do when I grow up or what I want to study in college.

This has been a constant pressure practically my entire life. Ever since I was little, I have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Of course, when I was really young, I could answer with something like “a princess,” and it would be met with an “awww” from my grandma, and I would move on and not think too hard about it.

However, that time has unfortunately passed. Now, If I were to say I want to be a princess, I would be met with eye rolls and exasperated sighs because, apparently, that isn’t a valid option anymore. 

Regardless of my aspirations to be a princess, I have truly never had any idea what I want to do with my life. Every career that I can think of either doesn’t fit me or doesn’t interest me. I can’t be anything in the medical field because blood makes me queasy. I shouldn’t be a teacher because I’m not great with kids. Basically everything that has to do with business—whether it be a managing position or accounting or anything else in an office—sounds mind-numbingly boring to me. The list goes on.

I have always had to deal with this dilemma of being unsure of my future. In the past, I dealt with it by saying, “Well, I still have years until I have to figure this out—I don’t have to be sure now.” 

I am now officially out of time. 

In just about six months, I will be applying to colleges that need a decision from me. I know that I could go in as undecided, but that would just set me behind my peers who have already made their choice about their future. I have lived barely a fifth of my life, and yet at eighteen, I am supposed to know what I want for the rest of my life to come. 

Making this impossibly important decision at just eighteen years old—or younger—is unreasonable. Why should one commitment I make as a teenager inevitably affect my future as much as this does? 

Making this impossibly important decision at just eighteen years old—or younger—is unreasonable.

Even if someone, at eighteen, did know what they wanted to do, there are many studies showing that they could end up regretting the decision they made at such a young age. In fact, as of 2021, roughly 44% of all adults who went to college regret their choice of major. But, unless they want to go back to college—which not only would take up a lot of their time but also a lot of their money—they are pretty much stuck in their profession. 

For whatever reason, this 44% does not like the choices they made as a teenager. A solid reason for this is that the human brain isn’t even fully developed until your mid-to-late twenties. Actually, the part of your brain behind the forehead—the prefrontal cortex—is one of the last parts to become fully developed. This is important to note because the prefrontal cortex is responsible for prioritizing, planning, and good decision making. If the part of our brain that is in charge of our good decision-making skills isn’t fully developed yet, then why are we making such a large decision that will impact us for the rest of our lives?

I’m not saying that making a good decision at eighteen years old is unattainable; however, a lot changes on a scientific level between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. I know this, and yet I am still responsible for the colossal choice coming up in just six short months. 

I guess I just wish that when I said I wanted to be a princess, it was still met with “awws.”