When I was a junior in high school, we had to take this aptitude test. It was a billion questions long, and, with the answers from these questions, the computer was going to tell us what professions would be right for us. The test was so painful to take! Each question was more grueling than the next. They didn’t make sense, and I was bored out of my mind answering all of these questions.
We received the results from our test a week or so after taking it. As the papers we handed out, everyone started talking about what they were destined to be when they “grew up.” Each person had six or more choices that best suited them. Can you imagine? Having that many career choices that fit your personality? I was getting excited as the teacher was getting closer to me. I began to wonder, “what were all of my choices going to be?” It began to get real that this is where I needed to really start thinking about where my future was headed, and what career I was going to claim as my own.
She finally approached my desk, and handed me my paper face down. I took a deep breath in anticipation of seeing all of the careers that were suited for me. I closed my eyes, flipped over my paper, and then opened my eyes.
JUDGE. That’s it. That’s all I had for a choice. Are you kidding me? Everyone in the room had so many careers to choose from, and I had ONE?!? I was embarrassed. My friends asked me what my paper said, and I told them I only had one choice. Maybe I took the test wrong. Maybe I wasn’t understanding the directions when I started the test. Ugh. I threw my paper away, and finished junior year like it never happened.
Onto senior year! Last year of school, before entering the real world. I was excited! About the middle of the year, it was time for the aptitude test again. I was ready. I read each question thoroughly, and took my time. I put real thought into each answer, and hoped for a longer list this time.
A few weeks later, results were in. People were excited as they got their papers back. Lists of 5-6 different career choices, some the same and some different from last year’s list. The teacher gave me my results face down. I was terrified to turn it over. My two best friends were looking over my shoulder as I turned it over. They both began laughing before I even looked at the paper.
JUDGE. Again? One choice? I couldn’t believe it! I don’t want to be a judge, but I don’t know what I want to be! This list was supposed to help me, to guide me. I went and complained to the teacher. “Two years in a row, I only had one choice, judge. It’s not right!” She just looked at me and said, “maybe it’s a sign.”
Don’t get me wrong, I did look into what it takes to be a judge. However, the thought of being an attorney prior to being a judge didn’t appeal to me. I struggled a few years deciding on what to major in. Long story short, I am not a judge today. I defied the aptitude test, and all of its quirky logic on how it thinks its questions know me best.
But, every once in a while, I catch myself thinking about what life would be like if I had listened to that test. I would take the test again now, but fear for the same results. Maybe I would have made a good judge, or maybe I am good just who I am today. It’s a life mystery for me, I guess.