It’s never too late
A famous quote by the English novelist George Eliot is ‘it is never too late to be what you might have been’ and it’s my favourite quote because it shows that whatever stage someone is at in their life, it is never too late to change what they are doing and do something else if they want to. I think the quote also allows people, who feel as though they don’t know what to do with their lives, to have some encouragement because it doesn’t matter – it’s never too late to do whatever it is you want to do when you work out what that is.
People may know what they want to do in their lives, but don’t know how to carry it out, or they may not have the confidence to do something at a certain point. I think too much emphasis, for example, is put on knowing what course to study at university – at eighteen years old, few people fully know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. In the end, many people don’t end up using their degree subject, or get a job in the field they thought they would when they first started, but that is of course not all what university allows a person to learn. It is often the process of getting to certain stages in life where people may learn a lot about themselves and what they actually want to do. University is an example of something much bigger than just a qualification being taken away after graduation.
Life is full of stages, and there are certain preconceptions about what people should be doing at certain points in their lives, but why is that? This is an example of where pressure and expectations become negative. In reality, people should be able to do what they want, when they want to, because it’s never too late to be what you might have been.
Many people struggle with knowing what they should be doing with their lives and a big part of that is their job and/or career. Of course, some people are happy with what they are doing, which is brilliant, but for others, they may want to continue to challenge themselves and do something different, which could be for personal development reasons or due to the greater financial stability a different job may allow them to have. I have seen a lot of adverts recently for the Open University, which is a university that allows for flexible learning and allows students to learn while they carry on working, and to therefore study when they can. It gives opportunities to people who may need to carry on working, but want to change roles, or increase their employability in their current industry. It allows a huge amount of people to gain qualifications that the usual university process doesn’t allow for. Whenever I see these adverts I feel really happy that there are opportunities for people who want to change their career path or to join it later on if their lives. We are all continuing to develop our knowledge base as we go through life, and it’s great to have opportunities to build on this in a professional and an accessible way, which has the potential to enable people to change the course of their life if they want it to change.
When I first saw this famous quote, it made so much sense – nobody should be running their life to a timetable society sets out because at the end of the day, an individual is in charge of what they do with their life, and what feels right to do at what stage of it.
Sarah Keeping MBPsS MSc PgDip GDip BA (Hons) Cert HE
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