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Organización Sicológica y Espiritual de Ayuda Social

"Yo les traeré sanidad y medicina; y los curaré" Jeremías 33:6a 

What do I want to study?

By: Natalia Martínez Ojeda

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is the question that you are asked when you were a kid. Usually, the answer is a momentary interest without any idea of what is needed to reach it. Sometimes, the answer is really the most complex, different, and noble profession that you can think of; selection made with the sole purpose of causing a good impression with both the adults in your life and your peers. Reporting “I don’t know” is not acceptable… especially if a class grade depends on having an answer. Outside of the elementary school environment you can get away with this answer… for a while. Even if you have no idea, any answer is valid. The adults usually react in a positive or neutral manner… nothing else. Nothing else, until you reach high school.

You are in high school, nearing the year where you have to declare what is it that you want to be professionally, where you want to study… and take action to accomplish those stated goals. This declaration is the result of years of subconscious reflection about yourself and your possible role in the world you are surrounded by. There is only one problem: those years of “subconscious self-reflection” have not yielded any satisfactory results to the question “what do I want to be when I grow up?”, which has been transformed to “what you want to study?” Or maybe you really haven’t put any thought into answering this question since elementary school and, therefore, you have no answer to reply to this question. You are avoiding this type of conversation to avoid the negative judgement of your peers and the adults around you, but take heart. There are good news: you are not the only person that is confused with what you want to be when you grow up, nor you have been, and you will not be. This is good, because there are people that can identify with your current situation and help you in the process of answering this question.

Making the decision of what you will study is an important decision that has long-term effects. There are people that can say with certainty what they want to be when they grow. There are others that don’t enjoy that blessing. In this page, we will present possible strategies to facilitate the making of this decision.

Many people that know with certainty what profession to study and practice know it either by instinct or by a decision made as a product of an event in their lives However, not everyone enjoys that gift from God. For the rest of us, making this decision is a tough and confusing process.

If what happens is that making the decision of what you want to study is too broad of a question, then the way to work at this process is to break the question into smaller, more manageable parts. For example: what do you want to do outside of the school? What school class or topic did you worked on with delight? What extracurricular activities catch your attention? What things you see in your surroundings that catch your eye, makes you curious enough to engage in that activity? What thing, activity, type of person, or idea makes you feel more alive, complete, or the feeling that it represents the thing that you should be doing in life?

A more complex question is: what are your values? The values that you have as a human being should be considered at the time when you are making the decision as to what you will study and do after high school. A list of values will be presented with their possible professions to consider or what you should explore.

  1. Economic: you should explore better the areas of study based on what the supply and demand market indicates.
  2. Family: you should explore professions that do not conflict with this value like professions that can be based in one’s home.
  3. Intrapersonal: you should explore professions that require solitary spaces like: psychiatry, psychology, pharmacy, certified public accountant, architecture, among others.
  4. Recognition: you should explore the following professions: help professions, professions geared towards service, artist or musician.
  5. Respect: you should explore the following professions: doctor, teacher/professor, public servant.
  6. Justice: you should explore the following professions: lawyer, judge, police, etc.

If the idea of studying a profession that takes a long time to study, even a bachelor’s degree, you can explore professions that do not require much time to study. There are professions that require at most 2 years to study, which could be appropriate for you if this is a priority. Professions like electricity, senior care, childcare, plumbing, chef, cosmetology and barber, farmer, cabinetmaking, industrial sowing, medical coding, security, small business management and occupational therapy, among others. There are institutes that provide these options.

It can be that an aptitude test or a professional career test is all you need to decide the profession that you will pursue and practice. Go to your school’s counselor’s office and ask for this test. If your school doesn’t have a counselor’s office, you can contact the Caribbean Counselors Association and they will help you obtain a vocational counselor through professional services (

It may be that you have tried all the methods provided in this page and nothing has worked. It can be that the juvenile confusion is so great that neither the reflection process nor the test have the desired effect. In the occasion where the response to this question can’t be obtained by instinct or logical means, there is a third strategy: activate the spiritual area that is within you. Yes… I know. Maybe you didn’t know that it existed, but this strategy is important, because the purpose of your life is connected in the mental, physical, and also the spiritual aspects of your life. I am not talking about religion but of that personal relationship that you have with the spiritual area that is within you, that was created exclusively to be in relation God and you. That’s why it’s important that you search for direction to God. If you don’t know how to do it, contact us. We can help you… but that is another topic.

Given that the spiritual area that is within you was created to be in a relationship with God, the best answer that I can give you is the most simplest: Ask God for help in this area of your life. God knows you better than you know yourself… because he created you. God created you thinking about you and the world in which He was going to insert you in. that’s why when God created you, He put in you everything that you need to live and live abundantly. God works on everyone in a personal manner. Because of this, God programmed humans so that what he put in us emerges and gets discovered with perfect timing: the timing of God. It is our job to know ourselves and to be susceptible to God’s revelation about what he put in us.

God will not let us go through high school without a plan or direction if we ask him for it, because that will mean that God’s purpose for our lives will not be fulfilled efficiently. Once God answers, though, work towards that direction.