I Didn’t Go Into College Knowing What I Wanted to do Forever
I’ve commonly heard sophomore year of college being referred to as everyone’s “slump” year. And considering it is the time that you have to buckle down and choose a major (if you want to graduate timely) I’m not surprised. I don’t know about you, or most people, but I didn’t go into college knowing what I wanted to do forever. Sure, I had an idea, but that was all it amounted to be, an idea of what I might want to do when I’m older. After taking classes within the major I thought I would be interested in (Family and Human Services) I realized it was not for me. This was alarmingly clear to me after this fall term. During class I found myself googling and paying attention to anything but my classes. Luckily, I managed to keep my grades fine despite my lack of attention or interest in my courses. However, this change of heart in what I thought would work for me was very discouraging. I even got to the point of contemplating quitting college after this year if I still felt lost and unsure.
I’ve always known I want to help people, and for a while I thought that an FHS major was the only realistic and achievable way for me to do so. So, when I realized this year that the major was not my path in life, for many reasons, it really disheartened me and shook me up. For the past two or more years I had myself believing that through service I would help people, and I believed for me to truly feel like I was making a difference I would need the up close and personal relationships with the people I was effecting that social work would provide. However, during the middle of summer it started becoming clear that social work would not be a career life that I could mentally handle.
This was a huge disappointment as well, because I’ve always prided myself in being a “tough” person that can handle a lot, and won’t break down or stress to think about it later. Over the summer anxiety took ahold of me however, and just my retail job would have me stressing after work. Any mistake I made, no matter how little it was became something big that I couldn’t stop playing on replay in my head. On top of that, the anxiety came with breathing problems that happened too often, over things that would have regularly been a “no big deal” type of situation. This sudden onset of anxiety hadn’t consciously connected yet with my realization of the effects it would have on the career choice I was planning on pursuing. It wasn’t until this past terms classes that I subconsciously and then consciously realized I could not pursue the career I had been taking classes for the past year. I think my lack of inattention during the classes over fall was due to my discomfort in the subjects we were discussing. Now that I have anxiety, I think I subconsciously try to avoid anything that will onset it.
Stress Got the Better Part of Me
So, after realizing I could no longer pursue what I have been pursuing for over a year, I got really stressed, and yes, very anxious. I began to wonder if college was the right avenue for me, and it would get me to where I wanted to be. Where I wanted to be however, I had no idea. For some reason, I thought having no idea was bad. If I didn’t have any direction of where I wanted to be besides helping people in my head, that meant I shouldn’t be in school. There is some validity in this thinking, since every year of school gets me another 9,000 in debt, and my scholarship only lasts 12 terms (4 years) of me being enrolled in classes. Beyond the financial aspect though, there was no one saying I must know what I want to do right now. Besides my own voice in my head. So what if I start and finish with a degree and end up changing my mind once I get my first job? A lot of people do. That’s something I had to be open to hearing this term. Oddly enough it was like this message had been delivered to me over and over and over again in all my classes and I was refusing to listen to it. Almost all the guest speakers in my classes, or classes I took notes for talked about hating their first job after college and going in a completely different direction, or taking opportunities that arose that never aligned with where they thought they would be. It happens so often, but for some reason when I myself was unsure it terrified me, and I ignored the advice I had been hearing all term.
It wasn’t until I started dabbling in starting my blog, and making a few posts that I started to realize I can help people in different ways than by directly making decisions on what’s best for them and guiding them on how to help themselves. I can reach people a million different ways. I haven’t decided in which way I want to yet, but that’s okay. I have the next two and a half years of college to help guide me, and then the rest of my life after that. I’m finally accepting I may never know what I want to do for the rest of my life. My interests and passions may change, and opportunities that I never even considered may be offered to me. There’s something beautiful and exciting about that, and something so peaceful about realizing and learning to accept it as a fact.
So here I am starting the new year with excitement on the new options that have opened up for myself this past year. Learning to let go of things that I know I wouldn’t have been my best at, and looking to find things that I could be great at. For me, this year’s new year resolution is learning to be okay with the unknown and to embrace learning about me and my wants at the given moment, while realizing they could change within the next.
My wishes to you and your new year,
I hope this year you can embrace yourself, your circumstances, and any uncertainty or fear with strength and unwillingness to waver in your beliefs and your journey to find your true happiness and success.
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What the heck? I don't know what happened. I'm sorry :(