As a high school senior, you are constantly being pulled between the present and the future. You are attempting to close out your high school career with great memories with great people as well as getting good enough grades to scrounge up scholarship money. At the same time, you are being pushed past your limits with the same cycle. Campus visits, counselors visiting your school, college applications – it seems never ending. To add to the chaos, every person you know from the neighbor down the street to your junior varsity coach are asking what you plan on doing for the rest of your life.
From this moment – you feel pressured to have a response. You are 18 anyways, you are an adult. Aren’t you supposed to be prepared by now? Each time someone asks the same question “what are you planning on majoring in?” you feel like you are being tested. Is your major worthy? Will it deem you successful?
The reality of this question is that it is purely irrelevant at this point in your life. You have to realize what being 18 means. It means you just entered adulthood. It means you still have your schedule made by a counselor and that you are encouraged to take certain classes. You have no real concrete idea of what your passion is, or where you will be in the next 10 years – and that is completely okay.
The problem with adults asking seniors what their major will be is that they are pressuring students to float down a certain path because they think it is necessary. The reality is that you don’t need a set plan. In fact, college is about exploring new concepts and opinions without anyone surrounding you to tell you you’re wrong. Even if you have an idea of what you want to do, you will probably end up completely changing that idea.
There is no reason for a high school senior to know exactly what career they want or what major they will be in. They haven’t even left their house yet. I changed my major four times in two weeks, and didn’t officially begin my major until sophomore year – and I am going to be just fine.
My advice to adults is stop asking seniors what major they will be in, and ask what interests them instead. They haven’t been able to fully explore majors, minors, or even the feeling of independence yet.
As for seniors – don’t freak out if you don’t know what you plan on doing yet. There is no rush, and you will figure it out on your own at the college of your dreams. Your future is not in jeopardy if you do not know your career path at the age of 18.
With a world that is changing rapidly with new ideas and technology, it is completely normal to be unprepared. Just have faith and trust that you will get there, and do not pressure yourself to make a life plan when you aren’t even sure how to do laundry on your own.