Please, Stop Trying To Change My Career Path

Please, Stop Trying To Change My Career Path

If you know it's what you want to do, then go for it.
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Well, what can I say about college? It's a place where we set on another journey to discover who we are, in hopes of developing into the person we dream of becoming. Dreams of being lawyers, doctors, teachers, and athletes all culminate in this one place as we hope to make it out of another 2-12 years (depending on your degree) of schooling. As May soon approaches and we watch another batch of seniors graduate, it's easy to feel discouraged about your career path or even second guess where you may be headed in the next couple of years. The thought of life after college may be scary and may have you making some choices you never thought you'd have to, like changing your major or even switching schools. One thing is for certain though, if you're passionate about something, you should stick to it.

I remember my senior year of high school and telling everyone what I wanted my major to be as soon as I set off to college. I was so excited to tell everyone that I wanted to be a psych major, that I wanted to help as many people as I could with their mental health issues and eventually pave the way for younger generations to know that it's OK to struggle with who you are or what you want to be. To this day I still am, but that doesn't mean I don't hear doubts from people every day about my major, or my intended career choice.

Choosing a major in college and literally deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life is hard enough, but what makes it more difficult is the second guesses from peers and elders that insist you try for something different, usually due to the job market or because the career you chose may not be as glorified as the next. From family and friends alike I've heard it all. "There are no jobs in psychology once you graduate," "Maybe you should consider majoring in IT," "I hear business is interesting,"

and my personal favorite, "Don't worry, everyone changes their major in the first two years of college."

I acknowledge that as an individual, I am not everyone. I do not want to be everyone nor do I have the time to even know everyone. Therefore, why can't you just acknowledge my major, and accept the career path I am trying to take? For my fellow psych majors, we already know that there's allegedly not a lot of money in the field of therapy or social work, but no one seems to understand that it's not about the money.

I understand and heavily abide by C.R.E.A.M (Cash Rules Everything Around Me, Dolla Dolla Bill, Y'all.

) I further understand that if I'm going to be doing something for the rest of my life, it better be something that I thoroughly enjoy and can't see myself getting tired of. I dreaded math, barely kept myself awake in science, and I'm not that tall so I don't know how I'm going to dunk a basketball over someone's head.

When it comes to social sciences like psychology and sociology though? I can never shut up. I always found myself helping fellow students out with issues in high school, and that's when I realized I might as well turn it into a profession. Every challenge I witnessed my friends and myself go through molded my desire to help others and further develop the growth and mental state of those around me. I knew what I wanted to do, but for some reason, certain people around me refused to acknowledge it.

It almost feels like the generation before us "millennials" has this notion that you have to be a doctor or lawyer to be successful. That unless you pursue their dreams, you may never be deemed worthy of a six-figure salary or all the glory that comes with it. As this generation is doing a great job of defying those ideals, it still doesn't do us any justice when our parents scowl every time we mention our major or intended career.

I'm proud of what I want to do and what I want to be. You should be too if it's something you're proud of. As long as it's supplemental to yourself and those around you, don't let anyone tell you different. If what you do makes you feel like you're going to make the world around you a better place, then go for it. We need people in the world that are going to challenge the status quo and encourage those around us to reach their full potential. I know that I want to do my part in the mental health area, but do you know what you want to do? No matter what, don't let anyone change your outlook, or what you could possibly provide for the world.

Cover Image Credit: Caleb Woods / Unsplash

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Dear Soon-To-Be Seniors

These are a few things we'd like to tell you about Senior year.
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Dear soon-to-be high school seniors,

Goodbye. As the class of ahead of you, we've watched you grow, always one step behind us. As we graduate, there are some things I'd like to tell you about your last year of high school.

Yes, Senior year can be just as amazing as everyone says it is, if you make it that way. But don't think it's a blow-off year with no work. This year may hold some of the most stressful times of your life.Be prepared for late nights writing papers or hard tests that could make or break your graduation status. However, don't stress too much about homework. A question I often asked myself this year was, "in twenty years, will I remember staying up till 2am studying for Econ? Or will I remember a fun night with my friends?" Ok, probably not the best advice if you don't have the best of grades, but most of the time you stress yourself out for no reason and miss out on fun things.

Another thing, try to get on the college grind early. If you haven't already, start looking at colleges and applying! Then narrow it down as soon as you can. You don't want to be stressed about that decision in the last month of senior year. Honestly, the sooner you can make your decision, the happier and less stressed you will probably be.

It's not too late to join new things either; a lot of people join a sport or a club senior year and have a lot of fun because of it. So try that thing you've always wanted to join! Speaking of which, go to prom! I won't tell you prom is the best experience of your life because for some people it's not, but it's pretty amazing. Don't stress too much about getting a date, either the right guy/girl will show up, or you'll just go with your friends and still have a blast.

Don't be too rude to the underclassmen. You were that young just a few years ago. And they're the ones who usually put your senior nights together, so make sure you thank them. Also keep in mind that they are looking up to you. Remember those seniors you looked up to just a few short years ago? Be a good example. Take your place in the school as Seniors and continue where we left off; carry on the legacy of your school and be proud of it.

If your school does Kairos (or a similar senior retreat), be absolutely open to it! If it's your thing, enjoy it! If it's not your thing, still try to be open to it. You don't have to love it, but at least don't hate on it before you've even been. Bonding with your class is a big part of senior year. I made so many new friends this year that I never thought I would if it hadn't been for Kairos.

Speaking of which, be open to new friends. Whether they're seniors or not, talk to everyone. In a few months, you may never see those kids again, so it's worth getting to know them past just being friends on Facebook. Also, don't give up on dating people in your class. Yeah, there's only a few months left and you've spent the last 4 years with these people, but there might be one person out there who could change your whole year for the better if you give them the chance.

Above all, enjoy it. You only get one senior year, so make it count. Go to everything you possibly can: every football game, dance, party, musical, bonfire, etc. Enjoy wearing the jersey of your team for the last time, taking your last bow on your high school stage, and turning in your last final, because it will all be gone within the blink of an eye. You'll find yourself walking down the aisle in a cap and gown of those same school colors you thought you despised (but really, you'll secretly miss). You'll look at your favorite teachers lined up behind you and your family sitting in front of you, and most importantly your class around you, and I hope, I really hope, you don't regret a single moment of senior year.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Skog

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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