web analytics
14 In ramblings

‘the future’ | is it really everything?


“What do you want to be when you’re older?”

“What are you thinking of doing after college?”

“What kind of job do you want?”

Pretty much the standard questions to ask any teenager, it would seem!  Friends and family being interested is all well and good; we’re heading in different directions and it’s all very exciting.  However, as we’re already being asked at college to fill a box with our career plans, my train of thought did go pretty far on the topic of ‘futures’.  Hell, I’m almost seventeen and I don’t know where I’ll be in ten years time, what am I going to do?

Everything at the minute seems so future orientated.  Like, everything.  I’m writing this less than a month after my first day of college, which I think illustrates my point perfectly.  Two years at least before starting uni, and already I’m expected to have a course in mind.  Don’t even mention the ‘personal progression plan’!  (I don’t mean to rant, I promise.  Read this in a chilled, inquisitive kinda voice will you?  Not a stroppy one.  Thanks).  Anyway, I digress.  Back to the future. ;D …I apologise!

Why, why, why is it that until we reach 30, or 40, or 80 or whatever, every stage in life is only seen as a stepping stone to the next?  A-levels are to gain a university place, a degree is to get a job, jobs lead to other jobs, this leads to that.  I want to get good grades because I want good grades, not because I need them to get anywhere in life.  I know I can’t stay sixteen forever, but I don’t need to plan ahead a decade either.  Also, I know you can’t just rock up somewhere asking for a place or role, without doing the legwork in the years before.  Although it would be pretty cool.

“Hi I’m Lily, can I come here to learn things?”

“Sure, right through here.”

Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen.  I know that a whole load of preparation can be done for years ahead; it’s the notion that everything we do is for the years ahead that gets on my nerves a little.  Just a little: like I said, no mad rant here today.  Opportunities like voluntary work and enrichments are sold as ‘things for your CV’, rather than for enjoyment. A close family friend said that she’d recently stuck it out for a year in a job she wasn’t 100% enjoying, for the sake of the line on the CV.  We eat, sleep and breathe to put on our bloody CV, it appears!

This is just how the world works, I know.  ‘Life isn’t easy’ and all that – you gotta do what you gotta do, even if you don’t like it.  Obviously time is best spent doing something worthwhile, not always purely for enjoyment.  Forever trying to be the realist!  That said… where’s the line drawn?  I kinda don’t fancy constantly waiting for something better.  I like to take things as they come.  To an extent.  For now, I’d like to focus mostly on my current self, with the odd thought to the distant future.  I’d rather not always be looking far ahead along this ‘path’, especially when I don’t know where it’s heading!

Honestly, I have no idea where I’ll be when I reach this elusive end of the path.  Sounding a little too philosophical now, aren’t I!  In an ideal world, my career would combine writing, communicating, travelling, creating, and probably a bit of something science-y too, because I’m a geek.  🙂  Not sure exactly what degree takes you there!  I’ve taken a mixed bag of subjects at A-level (maths, physics, history and textiles) to leave as many doors open as possible.  Blogging is a good example of what I mean: full-time bloggers usually landed their position through an evolution of something they enjoy, not climbing a virtual career ladder.  They’ve carved a career for themselves.

Explaining my ‘ideal’ is actually pretty difficult.  I’m not one of those who’ve had a profession in mind since age 10 and a set plan to get there, but I’m not completely clueless either.  At the minute, some form of distance/blended learning looks quite appealing, as I just don’t think I’ll want to tie myself to a bricks and mortar university for three years.  To study what, I’m not yet sure.  Have any of you been through this system to offer any thoughts?  That said, it’s kinda scary to think that I’ll probably be starting a degree in two years time. That’ll mean I’m an actual adult haha.  In some ways I feel reasonably capable in the world,but then again I’m still a kid in my head sometimes as you can probably tell.  These next two years are gonna fly by I bet, and I’ll have posts like these to look back on and likely laugh at my naïvety.  What can you do, eh?

So… what do you reckon to all this emphasis on the future?  What are we waiting for?  Help a too-thoughtful-for-her-own-good girl out, will you?

lily kate x
follow me on bloglovin | twitter | instagram | youtube | email me


  • Reply
    Emma 5foot10
    1st October 2014 at 10:11 pm

    It’s a crazy world sometimes, and refreshing to be reminded that we have the freedom to do anything, to change our minds, to start down one path and change direction later in life. I just did what I enjoyed- and if I enjoyed the subject then I seemed to invest more time in studying it/researching it/generally attending events or museums orientated tot hat subject. If it turned into a life long career then it will always change and evolve as I grow older. We have to evolve, adapt and change. Just go where the wind goes, enjoy changing direction and seeking new challenges 🙂 Sometimes we dont know our path because no-one has done it before so we are the first one to make that option a career (just think about how people have careers on twitter and how twitter probably didnt exist when they were 18, so they couldnt say they wanted to have a career in it 😉 Jope you have a brilliant Thursday Lily! 🙂

    • Reply
      lily kate
      5th October 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Crazy is the word I’d choose, yes! At the minute I’m lucky enough to be enjoying all my subjects equally-ish, but maybe that’s because they’re all so different. That’s what I thought too – that I’ll more than likely end up in a career that doesn’t exist yet!
      Thank you so much for commenting, hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!

  • Reply
    Emma 5foot10
    1st October 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Obviously that should say ‘Hope’!

  • Reply
    2nd October 2014 at 2:32 am

    I SO agree with everything you’ve said here. I’d rather be living in the moment than be constantly planning for the future…but then there is a certain amount of planning that you should probably do. It’s all a balance I think and something that we, as teenagers, have to eventually figure out! In the U.S. you have 4 years of high school and then 4+ years of college where you get your degree. This is my final year of high school and I’m still trying to decide on my degree…something to do with writing or art, probably. It’s all pretty much up in the air. It’s good not to stress about it though, I’m sure we’ll both be able to make the right decision when the time comes! 🙂

    • Reply
      lily kate
      5th October 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Glad you liked the post! I think the American system is totally different but I bet the pressures are the same. Writing or art sounds fun though, and if it’s something you enjoy then I guess that’s the main thing! I’m sure we will too, but if we don’t then I’m sure there’ll be time to start again with better ones!

  • Reply
    2nd October 2014 at 8:27 am

    Be present in the moment!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      5th October 2014 at 12:33 pm

      The best way!

  • Reply
    2nd October 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I hear that you are inquisitive, right? Not panicky?

    I think you should look forward to your university years, not so much as training for a career, but as an experience to be enjoyed in themselves. It is a great opportunity to experience University Life studying whatever, growing,maturing, because you aren’t quite ready to settle down into you job yet, you need to age a bit, like wine. If you pick a program, love it succeed in it and it leads to a job, great! If you change programs or quit, it will still look good on your cv! A cv is its own art form, you know? A brick and mortar university will allow you a bit more of the University Life experiences than a distance program, which may seem like a bunch of assignments.

    And don’t forget, that you have already launched into professional knitwear design. You have a good clutch of patterns for sale. You could build on this, but if you don’t just keep in mind that you have already done something in the real commercial world. Think of your younger self that just went for it! No training, but just did it anyways. Even now you can totally rock up to someone and say, Hi, I would love to do what you are doing, can I give it a try?

    • Reply
      lily kate
      5th October 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Inquisitive I am, yes! I’m not sure the whole ‘university lifestyle’ is for me, but I hope to have other life experiences during that time to learn and grow from. More different things to put on the CV! I think the knitwear design will probably be a side thing that I love to do, and we’ll just se where it goes. I think the knitting world has changed lots over the last few years so maybe I’ll be designing in some other incarnation.

  • Reply
    4th October 2014 at 11:32 pm

    I completely agree with all of this – I was quite lucky in that I knew what I wanted to study towards throughout high school, college and university. However, when it came to it, I didn’t actually do anything to do with my degree or what I had in mind throughout that entire time and ended up in an office, perfectly happy. Therefore, I wouldn’t worry about knowing exactly what you want to do because it has a high probability of changing anyway!

    Live for the moment and enjoy learning about a range of things! That way, you can find out what you truly enjoy doing.

    Emma | frillsanddoodads.com

    • Reply
      lily kate
      5th October 2014 at 12:41 pm

      You were very lucky to have something to work toward, even if you ended up elsewhere! I think I may well end up in a constantly changing career anyway, so there’s no point giving it too much thought.
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Reply
    5th October 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Dear Lily,

    I hope this doesn’t come across as one more of the annoying ‘future plans’ comments that come your away, but since you’ve posted about this I hope you won’t mind me saying – gently, cautiously – that I hope you will at least consider applying to Oxford or Cambridge if/when you apply to universities. I’m a few years older than you and I now have an English degree from Cambridge, though when I was 16 I had no specific ‘life plan’ in mind at all, and did A Levels in English Lit, French, Biology, and Chemistry – leaving no obvious ‘path’ set out. You clearly have the right sort of grades, but moreover a genuinely enquiring mind that is open to all kinds of possibilities. I know you said you feel uncertain about tying yourself to one particular place, and I understand that, but as far as I can tell from reading your blog, you seem like the sort of person who would seize the incredible opportunities at places like Cambridge, where in arts and humanities subjects the teaching style means you get the intellectual freedom to pursue the things that interest you most, with some of the most inspiring experts in the field. And you could continue to pursue all of your other interests, too – like any university, Cambridge is heaving with societies and clubs and outlets for creativity…

    Feel free to ignore me (perhaps your teachers have already suggested it, and you’ve decided that this wouldn’t be for you) – but seeing how bright, intelligent, and motivated you are, I hope you will think about it at least!


  • Reply
    8th October 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I completely understand where you are coming from although I was far less unsure about where I would end up when I was your age. Infact I was completely wrong about where I would end up. But I wouldn’t have explored what I have without doing my first degree and deciding I didn’t want anything to do with it. A uni degree is really important even if it has nothing to do with what you end up doing. It’s the connections and life experience that you gain while doing it that are really important but don’t underestimate the prestige that a good uni will bring to your application to any job. There are some things you need to do for the system and some things that you do for yourself and what those are is up to you. The destination is almost unimportant, it will sort itself out so long as you work at challenging yourself an always doing good work.

    Above all stretch yourself and explore. If there’s anything that I have learnt it’s that you need to follow what challenges and interests you. Those things will always nourish you and you’ll succeed at them because they interest you. I work in an industry that I had never heard of at your age or at the end of my first or second degree. It’s what I had always been doing intuitively. I never set out to get a job in it. I got it through my passion and my connections and proved I could do the job after I’d got it. You just need to set yourself up to be in the position to receive that sort of serendipity and be open to new challenges. I think you would be from reading your blog but saying and doing are 2 different things.

    • Reply
      lily kate
      14th October 2014 at 7:25 pm

      I guess part of all this education malarkey is about finding out what you don’t want to do too! I’m sure I will be doing a degree, just maybe not in it’s most traditional form. What were your degrees in? I guess the life experience may be most important after all!
      That’s the kind of path I’d like to follow too – finding myself in a field or career by accident almost.
      Thank you for commenting!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.