Life Decisions


Hi Joy,

My name is Whitney I’m 19 and I’m a freshman in college. The world is my oyster or at least it’s supposed to be, but honestly I can’t help but feel a little lost. There’s so much that I want to do with my life that I can’t help but feel stuck. I’ve been considering transferring schools to pursue a different degree. But I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to be worth it in the end? I’m taking a pretty big risk by pursuing this dream of mine, uprooting my boyfriend of six years, leaving my family to move states away, and chasing a dream that could possibly never become a reality. So how do I know if I’m making the right decision or not? I’m the kind of person that tries to please everybody all the time and it tends to complicate things. I’m also the kind of girl that puts everyone else’s needs ahead of her own. How do you know if you’re making the right choice or not? And how do I stand my ground about what I want when everyone else’s dreams for me are different than my own? -Whitney


Dear Whitney, 

Chasing dreams is a beautiful thing.  It’s one of the passions in life that makes us feel alive.  The trick is truly knowing what you are and are not capable of.  Many high school or college athletes come to a point when they realize they simply don’t have what it takes to go pro, and even though they love their sport (and it’s all they’ve ever done)… they have to let the dream become something else.  The same happens with many performers and artists.  I’m not sure what your field is, but this is a very important aspect of the question you’re asking.  Are you being realistic about your goals and dreams?  Are the people around you lovingly trying to tell you that you may not be well-suited for the field you dream of pursuing?  

It’s also important to take a look at the people from whom you are receiving advice– are they encouraging people or do they generally tend to see life from the glass-half-empty perspective?  Are you having honest conversations with others in your field such as teachers, fellow students, and mentors?  What is their perspective of your capabilities and how does that match with your perspective of yourself?  Are they telling you you are exceptionally talented and truly have a gift in your arena and you HAVE to chase this because they believe you will succeed?  This would be a really good sign, and an important piece of encouragement to have as you move forward.  If they are not straight-out telling you this, they may be trying to send you the message they don’t think this is your forté– without being hurtful.  If they ARE… you’re probably on the right track.

All those things considered, if all signs are pointing you in the direction of confirmation, you should not hesitate!  Only the people who take real risks (calculated risks) can make real changes in the world.  The road to true success is very rocky, involves a lot of sacrifice and obstacles for character building, and usually includes frequent feelings of discouragement and hopelessness.  These are all the perfect ingredients to make someone strong enough to handle the success they are destined for.

A lot of people would rather play life safe than have to chase after dreams at the expense of so much.  But the reward for people like you is one of the best life has to offer… the feeling of fulfillment.

So have a look at the reality of your situation, really listen between the lines to what other people are telling you, get some solid advice from people who know you, assess your personal character and ability to withstand struggle, and then make your choice.

Good Luck and God Bless you, Whitney!  I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for.

xx Joy



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