It's Okay To Feel Lost
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Student Life

It's Okay To Feel Lost

Feeling lost is okay. Not knowing what you want to do with your life is also okay.

It's Okay To Feel Lost
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Planning for the future starts so early. Even when we're children, we're often asked what we want to be when we grow up. We play with toys, watch cartoons, play with other kids and learn whatever is on that year's standardized test, and we're expected to know exactly what we want to do with our lives by the time we finish high school. We learn the basics of math, science, English, history and some random electives, and we're supposed to choose something related to one of these subjects and spend the rest of our lives living with that choice that we were forced to make. For most of us, we choose something we enjoyed in high school, or we choose something that our friends, family or teachers said we were "the best" at without really knowing much more than what we learned from the ones who so heavily praised us for our grasp on basic skills. During our senior year of high school, the school counselors start pushing us to apply to colleges and think about what we want to do after graduation. Of course this is a great first step toward adulthood, but there's one small problem that usually catches most of us: choosing our intended major.

Going in to college, my thought process for choosing my major was something along the lines of this: "I love reading and books, and my English teachers and mom all say that I'm a great writer, so I'll major in English! I don't want to teach, but I'm sure there's something out there that I could do!" Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved learning about literature, writing essays, analyzing literature and applying these concepts to all forms of literature, but now that I've graduated, I'm not happy with my career options. I started out thinking that I wanted to become a professional editor. That's nice, and it's something I really enjoy doing, but I can't see myself making a career out of it. Now what?

In forcing myself to choose something so quickly, I set myself up for an existential crisis. Obviously I didn't know it at the time, and if I did, I would've spent more time on choosing. The lack of guidance and preparation for college that I had in high school really did a number on my attempt at learning my nearly endless options for a career. I was pushed from such an early age to make a vital decision about my future, and it really just caused me to question everything I've done up to this point in my life.

While I do fault the education system for focusing more on us meeting standardized testing goals and not valuing individual education, I also fault myself for not exploring my interests and finding what I'm passionate about. I feel like I took the easy way out of college and rushed through because I found something I was good at. Now that I'm out of college, I'm already looking at other colleges in hopes that I can figure out my passions and get a new degree in something that I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

During my search, I've discovered the General Studies degree. According to Wikipedia, a Bachelor of General Studies degree "offers students the ability to design a unique degree plan while meeting their academic institution's general requirements," "allows students to complete a bachelor's degree that offers an element of individualism absent in many other degrees specific to a particular discipline," and "is often referred to as an 'interdisciplinary' degree which allows students to build strong arguments based on information from a broad range of topics." I've also discovered that most master's degrees don't require a bachelor's degree in a related field. For instance, even though I have a B.A. in English, I could get an M.S. in Computer Science. This made me wonder why I had never heard of a degree in General Studies. With this degree, anyone could get virtually any master's degree since the General Studies degree covers so many subjects, and most master's programs don't even require a background in anything specific. Following this path would allow for the exploration of interests and passions while also making progress, so why isn't everyone aware of this? Why didn't anyone ever tell me about this?!

If you're struggling to make a decision about your future, don't rush. Take your time in learning about yourself and your passions. If you've already made this decision or a similar one but are somewhat regretting your choice like I am, don't worry! It's okay to change your mind about your future. We control our own futures, and it's up to us how much time we take. It's also okay to never know what you want to do with your life! Do what makes you happy in the moment.

Above all else, take care of yourself as a person.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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