I’m 24, college student (2+ yrs left: just want to move on), continue to explore the religious life locally (attended personal retreats for inquiry & quiet prayer), & love to travel (ambitions to explore countries & states). In my case, I’m torn between matrimony, sacred single life, or religious life… for spiritual direction, I’ve met with 2 priests (more than once), 1 friar, & 4 nuns:: different perspectives, different answers… but all steering me back to me being young, that I’ve got time to decipher what God prefers I do to serve Him best.
When schools out, I’ll be an ASL interpreter… that’s where my passion is… not giving that up! Instead of living in a monastic community, I can see myself (after 7 yrs: whole process I’m not sure I’ve got patience for, but if God’s will: worth it) as a Benedictine ‘oblate,’ meaning I’d vow to live the “Rule” (the rules how they live by) through singlehood or marriage while living on my own & working, but not as a Benedictine nun… this means I can keep working someday for an interpreting agency, travel to catholic events to voluntarily interpret… I would be visiting the monastery on monthly meetings, local events, & keep in touch with other oblates & oblate director.
My advice to you:
Although we’re ‘still young,’ (if you haven’t already) go on a personal retreat (journal thoughts, read Bible, seek a consistent spiritual director there or elsewhere locally, attend events (at convents/monasteries: wherever you’re interested in), ask questions to those who live there daily (can you see yourself there?, etc). If you are meant to be a sister of some kind of religious life- God will provide at the right time how He wants to present it to you…pray for guidance (be patient with yourself, enjoy life where its at while exploring with an open mind what options there are to religious life. God is ever present in our lives & so patient… He’s not pressuring you to urgently make a decision now… gently in small ways He will show you the way.
I’d rather take my time with vocations than jump into one & find it’s not what I desire… you’ll get the pressure anywhere (I got it at the monastery w/ them while on a retreat ‘high’ & later found their persuasive encouragements not helpful… need time to decide what I really want…not what others think I should do, but what I truly think is God’s will… only you can answer what God is calling you to do), but God is the God of patience, not impatience. There’s a time & a place for everything… wait for God to instruct… He will show you (He knows you more than we know ourselves) the way, the truth, the light, & the life. We only get one earthly life to serve Him… choose it wisely. ((I’m also taking my own advice, still in progress)).