Blogger Natalie K., a high school junior from Colorado, will be sharing some of the issues teens today face with YALSAblog readersâ€¦if you’re a young person who would like to write for the YALSAblog,‘ let us know!
If you could be any color of crayon in the crayon box, what would you be? Piano black? Cotton candy pink? Tangerine Lime? There may only be seven known colors in the rainbow, but Crayola has crafted a virtually endless palette.
The same concept applies to careers. Like the seven known colors, there are the basic, standard paths: mathematics, science, social studies, and English. But within each category are infinite subcategories. Math can be broken down into mechanical engineering or chemical engineering or petroleum engineering; science is shattered into chemistry or physics or environmental science; in social science, there’s history or geography; and, in English, there’s creative writing or journalism. And within each of those subcategories, there’s even more subcategories and specializations.
Of course, careers are much more complicated than just breaking down each group into a million possible paths. After all, at that point, a career aspiration is simply like a crayon sitting in the crayon box.’ What matters is which crayon we choose to pick up and draw with. Because, as much as we’d love to, we simply cannot use every single crayon in the box beyond the colorful pictures we drew in pre-school. For our careers, we have to choose one single color.
So you’d better pick your color wisely…
Pick the crayon that brightens your day every time you pick it up. Pick the crayon that inspires, stimulates, motivates, creates, empowers, and moves you. ‘ Pick the crayon that moves you so much, you just want to color all day.
Picking the perfect career choice is perhaps one of the most important decisions in your whole life. After all, do you really want to be stuck with a color you loathe, day in and day out, trapped with nothing to do but color? Rather than brighten your world, it will darken it with every etching and every stroke. And, unlike in pre-school, where you could simply exchange the dreary crayon for another, you will be permanently stuck with that color. Your hand will be glued to its core. Sure, career changes are possible, but they are by no means as simple as driving to the store and buying a new pack of crayons. They are messy and hard to undo (sort of like coloring out of the lines.)
And yet, ultimately, the color you choose is just one part of the total drawing completed. What truly and indefinitely matters is what you do with that crayon â€“ what you draw, write, make, create. Choosing the crafty career of mechanical engineering or journalism or business is just one piece of it. What you choose to put on that blank canvas before you â€“ that’s what counts. Will you draw a new design for a more efficient car? Write the next bestselling novel? Or color in a new business that takes over the world? The canvas is blank: you decide.
Picking out that perfect color is important no doubt. But how do you know which color fits you best? It’s simple really: imagine that filled in canvas at the end; picture how you want to change that blank canvas into a canvas full of color. Knowing where you want to end will easily craft a beginning, almost like connecting the dots.
But how are you going to start connecting those dots anyhow?
With that perfect crayon of course.