The Burning Question: What do you want to be? 


Emmah Bouchari , Editor

As I enter my junior year, there simply seems to be one question that lingers through school and outside of school. The question seems to be seared through everyone’s ears as they hear it about 23 times a day. That question being: what do you want to be? 

What is so different about this question that initially seems to be a normal question a teenager comes across,  is that it leads to a follow-up of 100 almost unanswerable questions. Is it okay not to have an answer? Am I supposed to know right now? Is what I think I want to be what I’m actually meant to be? What if I end up hating what I choose to be? Will I give up on my true passions to become something that will give me a secure life? 

A question that’s pretty surface level calls for so many other thoughts that almost ask you to see into the future. It’s a pressure filled anxiety ridden 6-word phrase. Being that I am a 16-year-old writing this who herself doesn’t truly know if she has an answer to the burning question, it would be irresponsible of me to start writing about what your answer should be or how you should go about trying to find it. And maybe that’s the truth of it all.  Maybe at the age of 16 this question is supposed to bring up 100 more questions to make you sit and simply overthink every decision you’ve made in your simple 16 years of living. Maybe the question was just made to make us think. 

It’s stressful knowing the pressure and responsibilities that follow once finding the answer to that burning question. Maybe that’s the mental block keeping us from finding our real answers. What’s so complicated about the path to finding the answer is that there is no path. It seems like some have known what they wanted to be since they picked up a paint brush in their 2nd grade classroom, and that some have a natural talent towards a sport or form of the arts that will guide them to figuring out what they were truly made to be. But what about the rest of us all? The ones who have always felt like they are just pretty okay at most things, but never have had that spark in anything they’ve tried that have made them think, “Woah, I want to do this for the rest of my life”. Is that even something that really happens though? To be truthful, as I was typing that, it just seemed like such an unreal premonition to expect yourself to have. 

It’s a simple question that’s expected to have a simple answer. With all there is to unpack from it, it has only proved itself to be the furthest from simple. A six-word phrase that has taken over your teenage life. “What do you want to be”? Six words. Six words that can ultimately be followed by these next six, “How will we ever truly know”? The only thought I’ve became sure of while trying to understand this question is that I don’t have an answer. I just don’t know right now, and that is okay.