Fulfillment and how it looks different for everyone 

According to vocabulary.com, fulfillment is the “feeling of happiness and satisfaction.” To be fulfilled is to be proud of the work you’ve done no matter what form it comes in. 

For me, the path to fulfillment begins with being creative. From oil paints to crocheting, being able to create a physical object has always been something that makes me the happiest. It’s something I developed my personality around; I am the most proud of myself after crafting something impressive.

I used to feel bad for people who didn’t paint or have a creative outlet like I have. I craved going home for summer break because home was where my paints were. Home was where I could creatively be free. College almost makes me feel like one of my limbs has been cut off. A part of me is missing: my creative, fulfilled side. 

To put it simply, school work and good grades don’t make me feel fulfilled.

So when my boyfriend said he was excited to go back to school when it was only the beginning of June, I was a little lost. To me, going back to school meant an end to my creativity. I was not ready to go back and I didn’t understand how he could be excited when summer had barely even started.

It wasn’t until my best friend and college roommate explained it to me that I finally understood. My boyfriend’s classwork was equivalent to my paintings.

This absolutely blew my mind.

His school year was my summer, and vice versa. I felt awful for not seeing and understanding it sooner, but it made me realize that not everyone was going to be fulfilled by the same things.

In class the other day, a student was talking about wanting to be the top of their market eventually. They said that if you don’t have aspirations to be the best, then what are you working towards?

I have no desire to work in a huge market. To me, the perfect life would be working in a mid-sized TV news station in a small town or city. Working in a super fast paced market seems overwhelming for me. Sure I’d be able to handle it, but the stress and pace would leave me no time to fulfill my craving for creativity. I wouldn’t be happy in my life if all I did was work.

An article on The Muse says that this desire to stay fulfilled is actually making job searching harder for our generation. The article, “How to Find Work that Fulfills You,” lists six steps to follow to make sure you find a job that won’t make work feel like just work. 

And while work might not completely fulfill you, there are other ways to find joy and happiness while transitioning into adulthood.

Explore and dive deeper into the things you already love to do. Experiment with learning new things. Spend time to understand yourself and what you need from life.

For me, being creative makes me feel fulfilled and happy. Without feeling fulfilled, I wouldn’t be able to live a meaningful lifestyle as I go through college.