My senior year of high school, I would wander the school's halls in a daze. All the stress of trying to pick a major, plan college trips, pass AP classes, and balance sports/a social life gave me chronic pain in my stomach. I was trying to pass human anatomy and physiology, and the constant anxiety gave me up to four bloody noses a day for a week. Needless to say, I'm a natural "stresser."
As a little kid, I had a hyperactive imagination, and I was a classic rule-follower. This proved to be the worst combination. Sometimes I wouldn't talk for hours just to avoid risking getting "in trouble." I'd imagine my parents punishing me for no reason and I always thought God hated me for making mistakes.
I never really grew out of it...until this summer. First of all, worrying is pointless. No matter what you decide to do with your life as an eighteen-year-old, you can always change your mind or your classes to go for something else. Even if you feel stuck with a major, most companies will hire you purely because you have a bachelor's degree, no matter what the degree is actually for. Not to mention, as a woman, you're living in the most inclusive time in America's history. You're probably going to be nominated for a leadership position because a lot of companies are trying to fill higher positions with women.
The most important thing you can do with your life is to love other people. I think you'll be surprised how everything falls into place when you decide to pursue what you're good at. Focusing on the friends and family around you will also help with overly focusing on yourself and your own needs. Success isn't defined by what you do. Listen to God's calling on your life and I promise you won't be disappointed.
Two years ago, I was convinced that I would be a nurse in the Air Force. I completely ignored the fact that I buckle under pressure and I hate science. I also can't stomach blood or strong smells, but that didn't keep me from trying. I shadowed a nurse in the ER near my house. She knew I would never become a nurse from the get-go. I hated the addiction that all the patient's had to the painkillers and I ignored the nurse's advice to keep my mouth shut. I'm not exactly good at hiding my feelings or my very strong opinions. That's not how nurses operate, apparently. If people say they need painkillers, you give them painkillers.
The next step in my unrealistic plan was to pass the Air Force fitness test and get in touch with a recruiter. One day during history class, I did manage to get in contact with a recruiter, but I was so busy with high school volleyball and my classes that I kept forgetting to email him back. I also hated the paperwork/talking with my guidance counselor process.
A few weeks later, I met with my guidance counselor, who was determined to make me a doctor. Being an overachiever, I liked the idea of saving lives, but I hated the thought of going to school for at least seven more years. It took a while to convince her that I wanted to stick with nursing and go into the Air Force Reserves. She printed up all the paperwork for me and everything else is kind of a blur.
I also planned on going to school in California and working at Disneyland. This job application required me to know Spanish, so I also tried to become fluent while taking all my AP classes and playing sports. It was hard to sleep and anxiety made my stomach hurt so badly that some days I couldn't walk. The doctors didn't know what was wrong and they blamed mono, which was not the culprit since all the tests came back negative. Finally, my parents discovered that stress was making my stomach hurt and changing my appetite, so I had to figure out a way to stop obsessing over my plan for my future.
Finally, after taking a Discover trip down to Grand Canyon University, I felt a peace about going there. My plan to attend college in California was over. After a conversation with my dad, I also realized that I'm a lot more creative than I am logical or good with numbers/science, so I decided to pursue a career in journalism. The last piece of my immediate future fell into place when I realized that I wouldn't even be able to join the Air Force because of previous injuries and the possibility of almost never seeing my family, who mean more to me than anything else in the world. Everything became clear 3 months before I started my freshman year at GCU. Everything happened the way it was supposed to, and my prayer is that no one stresses over their future the way I did. I ended up doing the exact opposite of what I thought I would. And I'm so, so thankful that I'm where I'm at right now. I love what I do.