Every college student knows the eternal struggle of selling your soul to a career path in the frantic search for the meaning of life. From the age of 13, students are asked by school counselors, teachers, and family members what field appeals to them and what jobs they are interested in pursuing. I don't know about you, but five years later, I am still just as clueless as I was in the 8th grade about where my life will take me and what I'm meant to do. Here's to the college students who repeat the emotionally and mentally exhausting cycle of deciding on a degree--at least we're in this together.

1. Confusion

AKA: "What am I supposed to do with my life?!?!"

Whether you start out undecided or set your mind on a specific career, there is always a time when you question the road you're on and where it's leading you. Even if you feel certain about what you want to study, you definitely can't get by without questioning everything you want and who you're supposed to be. Life just wouldn't be exciting without an existential crisis or two.

2. Speculation

AKA: "Well I got an A on my third Intro to Philosophy quiz...should I major in Philosophy?"

Once you start to realize your academic strengths and weaknesses, you consider what you would be good at studying. If this is your first time in the cycle of declaring, you may get too carried away with the ridiculousness of trying to get a degree in every subject area that you have a good grade in. Helpful tip: distinguish your true "aha!" moments from your insomnia-induced delusions.

3. Excitement

AKA: Sudden realization followed by feelings of euphoria because YOU FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT!

After the light bulb above your head is has been illuminated and self-satisfaction has taken over your entire being, you may exhaust yourself from imagining your glorious future as a state-of-the-art basket weaver. Everything is finally making sense in your life! Note: this stage does not count if you are under the influence.

4. Research

AKA: "Wait...how many years of grad school?"

After hours of online navigation, you may reach any of the following conclusions: you'll be in school until you're 30, there are no legitimate careers in your field, the salary is remarkably unimpressive, the prerequisites for grad school are bordering impossible, your school does not have the appropriate major for your career, you cannot find a grad school that offers what you want unless you're interested in moving to Kentucky.

5. Doubt

AKA: The beginning of existential crisis part 2

Those feelings of uncertainty begin to creep up again and you tart to question every academic decision you ever made. Relapse takes the form of crashing from your "high on life" attitude and plummeting into a black hole of confusion about what majoring in Anthropology even means to you anymore. This stage is similar to climbing up to the top of a mountain and then realizing there's a giant cliff drop inches from your feet.

6. Panic

AKA: *jumbled up emotions and high stress*

Questioning your life turns into both internally and externally screaming about the hopelessness of your future. The following symptoms may be experienced: freaking out because you've spent money on classes that now seem useless, freaking out because you've wasted time on classes that now seem useless, freaking out because there is no way you can change your major and graduate in 4 years. Common manifestations of this panic may include: fits of crying, laughing, or screaming in socially inappropriate situations, stress eating yourself into oblivion, and/or the desire to drop out of life.

7. Recovery

AKA: Being too exhausted to continue freaking out, which may result in figuring out your life again.

At some point after your panic subsides, you begin to realize that maybe if you just do nothing, everything will work itself out. This state of neutrality gives you time to get yourself back on your feet and lets your emotions take a break while you hang in there by the skin of your teeth.

8. Resolution

AKA: Finally coming to a conclusion about what you're going to do.

You've calmed down, given your life a bit of thought, and now you're ready to re-enter the game. Everything in the world makes sense again and you've already called registrar about declaring your major. At last, you've made the decision to major in something you love that's also practical for you and will lead to a job that you want. Gone are the days of panicking over a future you cannot control and attempting to change your course of study on every whim. You can now confidently plan your classes knowing that this is the real deal.

...Or so you think.