This blog is meant for, well, anyone who doesn’t have a concrete plan set out before them. We all know those people who have every detail of their life planned out five years in the future, and while that’s nice and all, for most people it’s not realistic. Take me, for example. My entire high school career I wanted to play softball in college, and be a dentist. Instead, I played volleyball and realized how math and science just is not my thing. It didn’t take me much time at all to change my major from Biology to Liberal Arts and then to English. Yes, I changed my major three times. But in doing so, I found something I was truly passionate about… writing!
With that being said, I want to send this message to any freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or anyone struggling to figure out what they want to do with their life: It’s okay not to know! One thing college has taught me is that the best way to learn is through experience. You may have a career you want to pursue or a certain path you want to take, but these things can change as you learn and grow from the new experiences college brings you.
I was so focused on one career path that I forgot to keep into consideration what I actually enjoy doing, which is reading and writing. When I realized that Biology may not be for me, I started to panic. Everyone else seemed like they had everything figured out. Was I missing something? Soon after I changed from Biology to Liberal Arts, I realized how much I enjoyed English classes. Then it clicked. “Ohhh, I should be an English major!”
Now that I had that figured out, all I needed to do was figure out what I wanted to be after I graduated (I really struggled, didn’t I?) Did I mention I did all this my junior year? Because I struggled so much with finding where I needed to be, I want to give you a few tips on finding your own way!
- Patience is a virtue.
Don’t feel like you have to choose a major as soon as you get into college. For some reason, I thought this was a requirement and at the very least I thought you absolutely had to have one as soon as you stepped foot onto campus. Maybe that was just me, but it’s totally okay to have your major undecided. You have plenty of time to figure out what you want it to be, so in the meantime, just relax and go to class!
- Figure out what you like.
This seems kind of obvious, but I feel like sometimes it’s ingrained in us to find a job that makes the most money. While making lots of money does sound enticing, having zero passion for something you have to do every day does not. Don’t feel pressured to choose a career just because it’s what others want you to choose, or you feel like it will generate the most income. There’s literally a whole world of careers out there, and the options are endless. At the end of the day, your happiness is the most important thing.
- Don’t stress. Just breathe.
It took me until my junior year to figure out what I wanted my major to be. You really shouldn’t try to rush something so important, because this is kind of a deciding factor in your life. (No pressure.) Don’t freak out if all of your friends seem to have everything figured out, because in reality, nobody really has everything figured out. That’s impossible. They might just be better at looking like they do.
- Try new things.
College is about trying new things. Take classes you might otherwise never have taken. I wrote my first blog in a journalism class here at Williams. I never planned on taking that class, but I sure am glad I did. It opened so many doors for me and led me down a whole new path that I was never expecting. Also, don’t be afraid to join clubs and meet new people. You never know what kind of connections you’ll make or interests you’ll find.
- Talk to your professors.
If you find that you truly do enjoy a class, then talk with that professor. They’ll be able to tell you what career options are open for you. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions. That’s what they are there for. My classes, especially with Dr. Schmidt, sparked my passion for literature. She truly helped me to see all of my options, especially when it came to figuring out my plans for after college. Professors know what they’re talking about because they’ve been through this whole process before. Trust them!
If you’ve made it this far, I hope some of these tips have helped you relax a bit and just focus on the here and now. I just want you to know it’s completely okay to be undecided for a few years. Everyone is thrown into a whole different environment when they enter college, so it’s only natural to need time to decide which direction to take.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
God is telling you not to be anxious about things out of your control; instead, tell Him about your anxieties. I have a feeling things may start heading in the right direction if you do!