When you were younger, a very common question that your elders loved to ask you was 'what do you like to be when you grow up?' Many of us gave typical answers like 'policeman', 'teacher', 'pilot, 'doctor', 'nurse'. However for me, I couldn't make up my mind.
From wanting to be a teacher, to a vet, a writer and the list never stops. It was like I was never working towards a main goal and perhaps that is why I never succeeded well academically (except for math, it was my favourite subject)
I was a little girl with many passions and I was lucky that my parents supported me in whatever I wished to do. I took art class and piano lessons since I was 8 years old. I soon became one of the seniors in the class and could 'upgrade' into doing pastel chalk drawings and other forms of art (which I'm not sure what they are called). I remember my art teacher brought a basket of fruits to class and told us to draw whatever was in front. It was so challenging but I managed it. I felt really proud of myself when I won 2nd prize in an art competition.
Pastel chalk art (Image credit: google)
When I turned 11, I joined tennis as my CCA and continued playing when I enrolled in Secondary school. Because I wanted to be a better team player, my parents enrolled me in tennis class over the weekends so I could have more practise. However, I soon dropped out of class after many months because it made me had very low self esteem. But, I continued playing for the school team up to 'O' levels.
So from taking art class, to learning piano.... picking up 2 new sports (tennis and touch rugby) then to being a main committee in my course back in polytechnic, I gained a lot through experience which allowed me to be who I am today. It made me take a different route than what was planned out for me years ago.
Perhaps people may second guess me when I tell them that I'm not fully interested to go to Uni, but at the end of the day, does the cert really make you a much better person? What does it teach you other than allowing you to lead a successful comfortable life?
I felt the pressure from society and relatives when they asked what I wanted to do after I graduate from Poly. A few times I made my mind to study naturopathology in Australia, then I decided to go to RMIT to study marketing. Then one day I simply decided not to further my studies.
After a few months of turning Vegan, I realised how much there is to life and how much pressure is put on living in Singapore. Everyone seems to think that without a degree, you cannot survive. Maybe that's how it is in the corporate world because everyone is fighting for a higher pay and a more comfortable life but, when you age.... is that all that matters to you?
How about the dreams you had when you were young? Are you going to work your entire life just to enjoy only when you turn old? What happened to gaining experience when you're younger? Is that not what life is about?
Now don't go on saying that I am a pampered and spoilt child because I am not. I stop taking money from my parents ever since I started working and I have even worked in a corporate job for 8 months and absolutely hate it. This is why I wish people my age could see where the problem lies.
Are you making your future plans because of the pressure from society and family members? Or are you making your future plans for you? Why choose to follow the norm when you know what's better for yourself?
For me, I decided to start a new venture - Singapore's first Vegan mart (http://souleygreen.com) because I wanted conscious shopping made easier locally. Also, I have always loved entrepreneurship in Poly so why not bring both of my passions together?
I am not trying to promote anything right here but I AM trying to bring across the message that if you don't make your dreams come true, you are only going to help others fulfill theirs.
Start making a change for yourself and stop listening to what others have to say. Stop following the route that's planned out for you especially if you want to walk the other.