As a child I never had a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I was older. I never had my mind and heart really set on a goal. My mentality was always "Well what do I love the most in the whole entire world? Dogs! Ok, then I'm going to be a vet." I didn't grow up in a family that pushed me to decide about a long-term goal like that, or that told me or hinted at a specific career choice. I never really felt like I HAD to choose, like I HAD to be sure. So, I didn't , and I never was.
At 18 I graduated high school still having no idea what I wanted to major on, I didn't even have a list of choices. In light of this my family decided to send me to an international boarding school for girls in Switzerland, called Surval Montreux, for a gap-year. This was meant to give me time to decide and brainstorm on my talents, interests, and options. Switzerland gave me a sense of independence that I had never felt before, but with independence came loneliness, and a need to find myself and mature for the sake of my own mental health. At the end of that year I was a new person. I felt comfortable with myself and being alone, I was more sociable, yet extremely independent and able to fend for myself. I even found ease and comfort in it, but I still did not quite know what was next for me.
So, I then decided the next step was Drew University, a "Liberal Arts" school which gave me the flexibility and time to explore many majors, and not have to be bound to one until my second year of college. My first year at Drew was one of exploration and knowledge, I think I nearly took an introductory course for every major available. Yet it was not until summer of my freshman year that I found something I was interested in through an internship in Public Relations. After the summer I had decided that the major for me was Communications Studies, which as a coincidence, was not offered in my pretty school in the middle of nowhere New Jersey. So I transfered schools; I decided to go to Rollins college and pursue a major in Communications.
Now that I am finally a senior at Rollins I find that my future after I graduate is the number one topic of nearly every conversation. I used to find embarrassment telling people of how it has taken me 6 years to finally get a degree, and in not being able to respond with a solid answer when people asked me what was next. I often found myself lying and coming up with alternatives on the spot only to not seem like a total loser, but If there is anything that I have learned in my 6-year journey it is that people change, hearts change, ideas, passions change, and that there is no shame in this. Things like not being bound to one career choice, choosing a general major is not a failure, it is an opportunity for flexibility and to find your true passion. In today's world I have found that you can do just about anything as long as you work hard for what you want, have a good education, and are a well-rounded, good hearted human being.
I have heard a lot of people say things like "gap-years are a waste of time", or "Oh my God! Why has it taken you so long to graduate?" but to these people I say that Switzerland was one of the best decisions of my life, I would not be the mature, independent person that I am today. Drew gave me some of the best years and memories, and Rollins gave me the knowledge and means to be able to work in my career of choice and hopefully someday in the near future, my dream job. That is, when I finally chose one! Either way, none of my choices I consider having been a waste of my time, they have been necessary, even imperative to my overall transformation into the person I am today, and I am proud of that person.