As we’ve established before, I’m a super-OCD planner and prone to obsessively list everything I want to do before I actually go do it. I’m working on it in some aspects, as it’s been scientifically proved (more than once!) to piss off anyone and everyone that I attempt a relationship with romantically–but when it comes to personal goals & life-planning I think that this kind of insane thinking-ahead mentality can’t be that bad.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
As I’ve just turned 22 (yikes!), I’ll be 27, twenty-seven years old (oh my Lord!) in 5 years, and recently I’ve been thinking about what lies in store for the future. I’ve been blessed to been part of a wide range of communities for someone who’s only experienced 22 years of life, but the variety often confuses me in regards to the question: At what point of my life should I be at (xx) age? Of course, there’s really no answer to this, but seeing Facebook posts of my 27-year old friends chug champagne on yachts in Hong Kong; and then turning to see my 27-year old friends from Kansas City posting the news of their (second!) child-it causes anxiety. Where should I be in 5 years, & more importantly, how can I make it happen?
The second biggest lesson I’ve learned from planning (#1: Always make a reservation for a weekend meal in Taipei, lest you go hungry & end up gloomily eating 7-11 at home)–is that at least half of the time, things don’t go according to plan. Now, rational reader, this may be no news to you. In fact, it’s not even news to me. And yet I still go on, obsessively listing and planning and freaking out when I don’t hit every goal.
And speaking of goals, I haven’t yet hit the goal of this post, which I really began just to share where I wanted to be in 5 years, so, uh, I’ll get on that.
(One) 2013-2014: This will be my final year at National Taiwan University, and also my final year of living in Taiwan. (During winter break, I plan to make the Southeast Asia backpacking circuit; I wouldn’t say I’m particularly raging to go, but it’s just something you have to do if you’re in Asia).
I hope that by then, I’ll be satisfied with my experience of living in this charming little country, and ready to move onto other things. I don’t mean to knock those of you who have decided to stay in Taiwan (I’ll write another post on this in the future), but staying in Taiwan is pretty much career suicide unless you’re a free-lancer or um, and…English-teacher. I would take the free-lancer at some point, but career English teacher is not something I’m planning on plonking on my resume, ever.
(Two) 2014-2015: My study abroad year in Europe. (In the summer, I hope to go to French language school! Or a design program for the summer.)
Many of my friends rolled their eyes when I announced that I was studying abroad (I mean, haven’t you already wasted so much time in university already, Stephanie?)–but thankfully, it’s actually a program requirement for graduation. However, I don’t expect my time abroad to be all fun & games: since I won’t have many credits left at that time due to the insane courseload I’m shouldering now (I’ll have….15 credits for the whole year, maybe?)–I actually plan on doing a serious internship (in what? Oh, that’s definitely another post). Of course, this will mean that I can’t have the wild study-abroad experience everyone dreams of, but that was never really in my dreams anyhow.
(Three) 2015-2016: This is where it gets dicey. Hopefully by now I’ve gotten by degree from National Taiwan University & ready to move on to higher education. I would love to apply for a Fulbright, but only if there’s some kind of topic that I’m fascinated with; and can present a serious research proposal for. And if not? Well…
I’ve always intended to get my Master’s, and I’m eyeing a one-year program in East Asian Studies at Yale University. I know that it’s a high goal, but I’m deeply interested in contemporary Taiwanese fiction & since I have to get a Master’s in something (no MBAs for me!), why not at an Ivy?
(Four, Five) 2016-2017: My best friend and I have long been discussing which cities we’d like to live & work in when we’re young. I’ve personally narrowed down the choices to Shanghai, Melbourne, London. (We ditched Singapore for being too small & boring; Beijing for being too smoggy, and Paris because…French people are rude. Oh right, and we don’t speak French…). Armed with a master’s degree, I’m really hoping that we can both find jobs there & develop our careers side-by-side.
Ultimately, during these years, I want to fall in love (of course)–and I’m looking forward to it (for the obvious reasons) whilst also dreading it as the plan-breaker; something that will cause me to radically shift my plans. I want to fall in love with a person, and fall in love with a city. Even though I don’t think I could ever stop travelling, I’ve come to realize that my goal isn’t to become some kind of international jet-setter. What I’d really like to do is work in an industry I love, where I can travel a lot, save up to open my own venture (my current inspiration? David’s Melbourne, the most beautiful Shanghainese place in Melbourne!) and live in a creative community that I feel secure enough to leave often (on adventures!) & come back to often.
Do you make five year plans (please share, if you do! I’m curious!)? Do you think I’m crazy (it’s really okay if you say yes..)? Let’s talk below!