It’s OK To Change Your Mind, It’s Your Life

It’s OK To Change Your Mind, It’s Your Life

Go big or go home, especially when it comes down to your future!

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As a fifth year senior in college, I can safely and unashamedly say I have changed my major to everything except math, history, and business. I went into the University to study exercise science and from there it was just one major after another and even university after university after university. And then finally it came down to what major I could pick in order to graduate the soonest- Psychology. Ok! Cool. Fast forward four semesters later and here I am still committed to Psychology with a minor in Sociology.

But don't be fooled, I still changed my major (once) and changed my graduate/professional career path so many times I could not keep up. Just two weeks ago, I changed and changed back to and changed again my postgraduate plan seven different times in three days. You would think this was all due to the stress of my undergraduate career coming to an end- but NO. A great deal of this had to do with me not knowing what I truly wanted to do with my life.

After choosing to study psychology to graduate the soonest and then picking sociology because I felt it went hand in hand with psychology, I was just counting down the days until I could say I was done and got my diploma. But then it became very apparent to me I actually had a huge passion for what I was learning. I loved learning about people on a psychological level (especially developmentally) and I loved learning about how those people could interact with society and how society influences those people.

**Que the career change**

I decided I then wanted to pursue graduate studies in human development but focus on children and adolescents within the family. For several years now, I knew that whatever career I went into I wanted to work with youth whether it be a pediatric nurse, mental health specialist, lawyer, psychologist, sociologist, etc. (And yes, those have ALL been career options of mine). But nothing had ever felt like it would be enough for me. It never felt like there were no more doors to open and no more options to look into. But then I realized something..

**Que the career change-- again**

My passion for learning more and more about people and society and considering my interests in children and adolescents, the more I realized just how many consequences there were in being so obsessed with figuring out my career interests and doing as much research as I could into what my career options could be. The biggest consequence- the amount of student loan debt I have already accumulated PLUS the amount I was about to accrue from going to get my masters in Criminal Justice and going to Law School. The other noticeable consequence, as I mentioned- obsession. I believe there is a healthy line between being passionate and consumed with your work and interests and then there is obsession and letting it control you.

Now, I know many of you will say "well, why go to law school?". That is a long drawn out answer, but ultimately the best answer to this is because I have figured out a way to incorporate ALL of my interests of psychology, sociology, mental health, advocacy, and law just to name the most important. And with all of this said, you really might be wondering why I have written this because it may seem as though this is unrelatable.. Glad you asked!

I hear all too often from people I know or even by eavesdropping on conversations (cause I listen to as much as possible due to curiosity) that they wish they could do this and they wish they could do that.. And I just get so defensive and think "Well why don't you?!". Then the answer becomes "I just don't know how or what exactly it is that I want to do." or "I can't because I don't have the opportunity."...

LISTENNN- Do as much research as you can, write down as much as you can, don't give up just because you can't find the exact terminology or label you are looking for. And for the love of all that is holy, do not go into a career just because it may have the label "Doctor" in front of your name or because it is what everyone around you suggests you should do.

Do what you find interesting and can care about long term. And if you need to go a little bit crazy-obsessed to figure it out, that is perfectly OK! Deciding what you want to do with your life should not be easy or an easy choice and it should represent you and your interests. And if you have zero clue what you should do or where to start- reach out to people, ask as many questions as you can, take free career surveys, take personality quizzes to see what kind of person you are and maybe that can help spark interests and then career opportunities.

All in all- just do not settle for mediocracy. Many people believe there is inequality in social power- but I say there are just differences in the choices we make. If you want it --whatever "it" may be-- you can always figure out a way to make it happen. We have seen too many success stories to represent this notion to believe we should settle for anything less.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


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Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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