I’ll never understand how society expects 18-year-old kids to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives. It seems like just yesterday we all wanted to be ballerinas and astronauts. As a senior in high school, I hadn’t put any real thought into what I wanted to be when I grew up.
After I graduated, I had no clue what the future was going to hold. In the fall of 2013, I decided to go to the community college and major in business administration. My thoughts were, “I can do anything with business” even if I had no passion for it.
After five long semesters at AACC, I transferred to Towson University where I declared the major “Business Administration with a Concentration of Management”-what a mouthful! I hated almost all of my classes and became severely depressed. I had mental breakdowns every day and thought about dropping out on a regular basis. I eventually realized that I could not live this way and that something had to be changed.
My cousin’s wife, Melissa, encouraged me to pursue social work. I remember her telling me, “you have such a big heart, you’d do so well!” Her kind words have stuck with me for the past few months. I have always had a passion for working with children and for helping people. Considering I have witnessed drug addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, domestic violence, and mental health disorders first-hand, the possibilities for me in the social work field would be endless. I conducted the research, met with some advisors at my school, and realized social work was what I wanted to do.
I finally changed my major to something I would enjoy -- Family Studies with a Concentration of Human Services.
Several people have frowned upon my new career path because I “won’t make a lot of money” and it “won’t be worth my time”. I was once upset by the lack of support, but unlike most people, I realize that money isn’t everything.
The fact that I will no longer dread waking up and going to school every day speaks is more important than any amount of money ever could be. While I may not be making the kind of money a CEO does, I’m going to live every day with the potential to change someone’s life.
People have also said that changing my major during my junior year of college was an irrational decision. However, with only one extra year of college, I will be graduating with two degrees instead of one- an associates degree in business management and a bachelors in human services.
If I could give every high school senior a word of advice, it would be: It’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life. Regardless of what anyone tells you, nothing matters unless you are pleased with yourself. Go to community college, don’t declare a major until you’re absolutely sure of it, and work your summers away because someday it will all be worth it.