Between the ages of 18 to 30, it’s very easy for one to get discouraged and “stuck.” After all, we’re crawling up a grueling slope of high hopes and meager accomplishments to get just a little close to some of our fairly far-fetched goals. Somewhere along the way, we come a point that appears to be the end. Either we got tired, or resources ran out, or opportunities became slim, or circumstances arose…
You could probably name a specific reason as to why you’re stuck. But are you really as stuck as you think?
During that “stuck” period, or “in between” time, or “taking a break” season (whatever you want to call it), you don’t have to be unproductive. And it doesn’t have to be pointless. First off, I imagine you’re in deep search for something, anything! Perhaps it’s a job, or an internship, or the right school, or the right magazine to submit work to. Here’s a thing: you don’t have to do something longterm. If you just need a job to save some money, then don’t be afraid to settle. It won’t be for long, and it’ll satisfy a need when you need it. If you want to get moving on your education, choose a decent school. If you find something better, you can always transfer. Every opportunity is meant to be a step towards a specific goal, and so nothing would be nothing. Even if a position isn’t related to your desired career, it’s still going to provide a need, particularly in the experience area.
Now, as you’re searching, you should get a little creative. Who says you have to follow norms? There’s all kinds of freelance jobs. What are you good at? Or perhaps you can volunteer with an organization that interests you for a short time. Look beyond your usual search bubble and see what outside-the-box things you can do while you wait to get to that next step.
During this “stuck” period, why not take advantage of the free time? Go out and do something you otherwise couldn’t if you were tied down to a schedule. Sooner or later, once you do have a schedule to stick to, you’ll wish you had done that thing you wanted to when you could.
Perhaps being “stuck” just might be the opportunity to go back to school. By that, it doesn’t have to be university or college, or really any legitimate sophisticated school. You can “go back to school” by taking some free online classes, or teaching yourself a skill on your own. Basically, go out and learn something. This is the time to do it. It may even lead to something new that you originally didn’t consider was an option.
It’s hard to keep your spirits up when you feel like you’re stuck, but really you’re not as stuck as you think. That is up to you, of course.