Real talk: For the past few months, I have worried about not choosing the right career path and struggling to find my purpose.
By purpose, I don't mean a reason to wake up in the morning, or a reason to celebrate the good, bad and the ugly. I mean that I am struggling to find my earthly purpose. You know, choosing a career that has great meaning and impact on the lives of others around me.
As a first semester sophomore in college, I found myself doubting my career choice more and more as time went by. Did I really want to be a nurse? Was I choosing this career path to take the easy way out? I soon became crippled with anxiety and I started to worry that I would never be good enough. Fast forward to second semester sophomore year. I think I have figured out what I want to do career wise, but I am now set back a year. Once again, my anxiety took over. What would people think about me graduating a year late? How embarrassing is it going to be to graduate a year later then my twin sister? Am I going to lose the friendships I have formed because I am no longer going to be in nursing school with them? These were constant thoughts going through my mind daily.
My main question is, who said we must graduate college in four years? Why does society pressure us into choosing a career and then try to toss us out into the work force just four short years later?
What we don't realize in the moment is that for the next forty years, we will work in the field that we chose to study at 18 years old. Think about that for a minute. Our brains aren't even fully developed until 26, yet we are deciding what we want to do for the rest of our lives at 18. I would much rather take an extra
1-2 years in college to find my true calling instead of rushing to make a decision and be unhappy with my career choice 5 years down the road.
Once I told myself that this is okay, I slowly started to breathe a little easier; I became my happiest self again. I am here to tell you that it is okay to take a little more time to find your calling in life. Do not let other people's opinions push you into doing something that doesn't satisfy you. You will be amazed at the relief you will feel once you let go and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks about you.
I hope that those who read this find some relief in not knowing what they want to do with their lives. There is no reason to rush into something that your heart isn't set on. When you become overwhelmed thinking about your future, just breathe and know that you will find your calling.
University of Alabama at Birmingham