Life After College: The “Ideal Order”

We’ve been told the order of life since we were young.  Go to school, finish college, get a job, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.  Right?  Well, what if you’re in the middle of all that and aren’t sure if that’s what you want? Can you change the course of your life when you’ve been planning to live your life this way since you were little? When you’re told about the order and really take a look at it, it seems simple and ideal, doesn’t it?

Some of us are ready and willing to explore the “real world” (as we call it) and adult life as soon as we turn 18.  That adult life might be to continue your education by going to a college away from parents or going straight into job-seeking and living in an apartment separate from family.  Some of us like the cozy and safe world of living with parents.  In Korea, most young adults live at home until they get married, and some stay even after marriage.  

The Dilemma as a Korean-American 

In Korea, if you don’t follow this “ideal order”, you might be considered a disappointment. It seems like any other path you take will lead to unhappiness. But, this could just be over-dramatized so that you’re pressured into going on the common path that parents are familiar and comfortable with. Although I'm Korean American, I chose to move out during college to be more independent in making my own decisions.  I believed that I could make my future and that I will be able to make the right choices. My mom, of course, was not happy with my decision.  Even more so that I didn’t tell her my plans of moving out.  She didn’t speak to me for awhile...

What about What I Think?!?

Even before I finished college, I thought about how to reach my goals and the next steps I would have to take in life to get to the future that I wanted. I didn’t only think about my career goals, I also thought about goals of having my own family. I had to balance out priorities with time, instead of trying to stick to this “ideal order” timeline. For example, I probably wouldn’t have been able to have a child right after I started at a full-time job if I wanted to have children at the “ideal age”. An easy way to resolve this might’ve been to find a reliable husband that makes a lot of money so I can have my child. This was my understanding of an ideal way of life in Korea.  Is that easy to do? Of course not! Maybe if you went through a match-making service, but that’s not a personal preference of mine. So, I’ll stick to my own pace and push the ideal order timeline back a bit.

All in all, I guess it’s really just best to go at my own pace. Because really, who can control how their life turns out? I’ll keep planning though, of course. And just to be safe, I’ll also make a backup Plan B, C, and D. Haha.