The Right Path Might Be the Wrong Way (Here’s How to Find Yours)

Ever afraid you might be going down the wrong path? Don’t worry because the right path might not be what you’re looking for.

Everyone is put on this earth for different reasons, and everyone has a different idea of what the “right path” is.

You hear it from your family, your school councilors, your friends and endless statistics pointing to the most lucrative careers. Whatever that path may be, it is always smart to ask where these beliefs come from and whether or not they are well suited to your interests, abilities and desires. Sometimes this means questioning majors or even moving out of the country.

Think Freely


I began seriously questioning things when I was 13 years old; it’s a common age to start challenging the status quo, and isn’t that the point of being a teenager? Apart from my friends, whom I loved, my original high school was just not doing it for me. Thankfully, I was encouraged to think freely at a young age so with the help of my family I did everything possible to go to boarding school.

Near the end of my first year from home, I realized I was craving more than a different school. I wanted an experience outside of the classroom. The following year, I left the U.S. and lived with a French host family in Brittany, France.

I heard from teachers and peers that I would not be able to catch up on required credits nor would I have the grades needed to apply to top colleges. So, there was a risk of jeopardizing my junior year grades? I’d cross that bridge when I came to it. And I did.

In some ways, my senior year of high school was a bit of a catch up year but in other ways I was far ahead of my peers. There are certainly more challenging high school experiences than mine but that is beside the point. I saw different options than what was originally presented to me and I did not choose the one with a big following. Instead, I chose something that worked for me.

Make Way—For You!

I am incredibly grateful for my time abroad, but I realize this is not for everyone. However, I do want to stress—for those of you who dream of moving away— that living and studying abroad is more doable than you think.

There are infinite possibilities to make it to the top, or wherever you would like to see yourself in 20 years. Maybe college is not in the picture for you. The student loans aren’t worth it or you have just never been the school type. Don’t let statistics convince you that this is the only way to get ahead.

Sometimes your path is dropping out of high school to take the GED and taking community college classes while working part-time. Some of the most successful people thank such alternative routes for their ability to adapt and think independently.

There are no correct steps toward living a rewarding, and—after some Ramen diet years— financially stable life. There is a lot you cannot control in life. Fine. Fortunately, you do have control over the things that count most. While you cannot put them on your resumé, that piece of paper can only get you so far without the following:



No one has the time or superpowers to live multiple lives. That’s why we have books!

Not only do you get to live experiences almost firsthand, but you are opened up to an entirely new way of thinking. What better way to understand the world and its people than to get right into the head of some of the most brilliant minds in history.

If you pay attention and think critically while you read, you’ll become wiser practically through osmosis. Sweet deal. In turn, the more wisdom you have the better decisions you will make in regard to work, family and, quite frankly, anything else in life.


You don’t need to limit yourself to a backpack and zero plans for food and shelter to go backpacking. I simply use this term to distinguish it from traveling in five star hotels with English tour guides.

Backpack-style traveling will teach you how to adapt to different scenarios and understand different people.

Adaptability, compromise, compassion and open-mindedness are some of the most sought after traits in any field of work and they don’t necessarily come naturally to people.

You need to force yourself out of your comfort zone, and traveling to beautiful places with beautiful people is the most exciting way to do so.



Humans are social creatures. So, as long as humans roam the earth, networking will naturally help you to get ahead.

Friends are great, but don’t confuse the two. The difference between networking and friendships lies in career choices.

Make connections with people, of all ages, who are doing or aspiring to do what you want to do in the future. Older mentors will keep you determined and hopeful while people your own age could be future business partners.

It’s only social climbing if you’re not genuinely interested in the same field, otherwise these connections you create will become regular friends as well!

Your twenties can be an agonizing limbo period, but if you get to know people on the same track, you will feel less alone.

Even if you don’t know what your road ahead looks like, that’s OK—you have time to figure it out. With confidence, curiosity, reading, backpacking and networking, you will soon reach your destination.

What are your thoughts on abandoning the status quo? Share your stories below!

About the author

Isabella Le Bon

Isabella is a francophile and health nut who loves dark chocolate, Otis Redding and cured Spanish ham. She loves traveling and dinner conversations that last until the wee hours of the morning.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment