A couple of semesters ago my introductory German class, I sat next to a quirky girl I made small talk with every day. She almost always wore her work uniform and dashed from class to her job at a local convenience store. Fast forward to the day of the final. She stormed into the room and shouted, “I hate school, I hate the students, I hate the professors, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!”

She plopped down in her desk and pouted. I tried not to roll my eyes. Throughout the semester I heard her complain about how she couldn’t afford anything and how she needed more work hours to afford her apartment, never having time to do her schoolwork. I reassured her it would be fine once she completed her degree it would be fine. I asked her what motivated her to go into political science in hopes of reviving those aspirations.

“To get a degree,” she told me.

I repressed a sigh. It’s one thing to keep paying for classes you need for a degree or career aspirations you’re passionate about. But if you’re just aimlessly paying thousands of dollars for tuition and don’t have the faintest idea why, then put it on hiatus for a bit of time until you do figure it out. Work full time for a while, shadow at a few jobs you might be interested in, make sure you actually like what you’re getting a degree for in the first place. More than likely, you’ll have more money than your peers Going to college to just get a degree is a complete waste of time. I’m not saying have everything figured out, because your early twenties are rarely the time that you have your life together. But you have to have some sort of game plan. Jumping into a random degree program you don’t really have that much interest in is a colossal waste of time (and don’t get me started on money).

Here's a little more advice: ask yourself if you’re willing to put in the work to for the career you want. As an English major, I have to ask myself this daily. It's a tough market out there. Frankly, any major needs to ask themselves if the career they're looking for is what they want, because every career choice has it's perks and not so great parts. No matter what you’re doing, make connections, show genuine interest in organizations and do some volunteer work. Most importantly, don’t give up if you get rejected or are passed over for an opportunity. I've had to apply to various opportunities two or three times before anything happened. You may not end up where you thought you would, but you’ll get where you need to go.