Am I the only one who feels an insane amount of pressure to know what they're doing with their life right now? That's a rhetorical question — I have this conversation with my friends at least once a week. It's a hot topic among college students, and probably many new graduates, but there's also this taboo around admitting how lost and confused we feel. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this topic because it's been weighing on me heavily.
I'm now halfway through undergrad, and I have virtually no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. I came into college undecided, then chose a major I was vaguely interested in before deciding it wasn't for me and switching to Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication.
Here's the thing: I enjoy my major — at least, I've enjoyed the few classes I've taken thus far. English has always been my favorite subject in school, and reading and writing are things I typically love to do. Despite this, choosing my major was not an obvious decision. I know many people who say they feel destined to do what their majors are preparing them for, and that's awesome; I'm genuinely thrilled for those people! However, that's not been my experience. There's nothing I feel destined to do, except maybe help people in some way, and who doesn't hope for that? I'm pretty type-A, so I thrive off of creating plans and lists. It's difficult for me to let go and stop trying to control every detail of my life, even though that's exactly the advice I've been given time and again. I've voiced my concerns about feeling directionless to friends before, and possibly the most helpful response I've received was about how I place too much emphasis on my future career.
A career, might I remind you, that I have far from decided upon. If I felt sure of what I wanted to do, focusing on getting to that point in my life would be a different story... but that's not the case here. Anyway, this friend reminded me that I have many things going on in my life outside of what I'm studying in school and that these things are worthy of just as much of my attention and consideration. I suppose it comes down to the fact that I have a one-track mind about what "counts" when it comes to setting myself up for success.
Make no mistake: thinking this way is sort of bonkers. Life certainly doesn't work like that! As my friend so wisely said to me, "Just because you don't know where you'll end up, that doesn't mean you're not on a specific journey. Everything you're doing right now is building up to the person you'll become. You don't have to know what that person will look like in the end — don't be so hard on yourself."
Now, I'd like to pass their sage advice on to you. It's OK if you're not entirely sure what you're doing with your life. In fact, it's OK if you have no idea at all. You'll figure it out in due time, and meanwhile, try to remember all the other factors at work shaping your surely bright future.