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.