• InstituteUniversity of Alberta
  • ProgramEducation
  • RegionEdmonton

I wasn't excited about my program, but I didn't feel I had much choice. Yet it's turned out to be the perfect program for me.

From a young age, my parents and relatives seemed to dictate how my life would play out, from the degrees I would get, to how I would get them. Education was always a priority in my family, and my parents continuously sent me the message that through education comes opportunity.

When I was younger this didn’t bother me. Being an adult seemed a lifetime away, and I was more concerned about my immediate future than any type of long term planning. I thought I was content getting an education degree and then going into law, like my parents wanted me too, as long as I got to do what I wanted during high school.

And I did! I was able to have many amazing experiences all throughout high school, from traveling to Turkey to doing a semester of schooling in Japan. Everything seemed perfect. I was able to juggle my grades and social life, all the while achieving my goals.

However, as high school went by faster and faster, and my graduation date was quickly approaching, I realized being an adult wasn’t a lifetime away anymore—it was only a few months away! So I did what a lot of people in similar situations do: I freaked out.

Did I really want to do what my parents wanted? If I didn’t, then what DID I want to do? I had no idea, and that was a terrifying thought for me.

Even though I wasn’t sure if the path my parents had chosen for me was what was right for me, I decided to follow it anyway. But I couldn’t shake that little voice in the back of my head that kept asking: What if you’ll be miserable? What if you hate your job? What if you’ve already ruined your life?

What changed the way I viewed my future and my plan was some of my mom’s lawyer friends. One lady got to work for human rights in the UN. She helped people, and got to travel all around the world! Another lady worked for her reserve and was able to work for her community and her people. This blew my mind! It had never occurred to me that I could combine my love for travel, my culture, or helping people with the job I had been dreading! Overnight my future went from looking bleak, to full of possibility.

Even though in the end I decided on a career path that my parents had advocated for, I am doing it in a way that makes me happy. If my path to post-secondary has taught me anything, it’s that life is full of surprises, and even if you don’t have everything perfectly planned, things will always work out in the end.


Nov 23, 2017