Dear Utterly Confused and Undecided College Student,
College is supposed to be a time of exploration. People always tell you that it's okay to not know what you want to major in or what you want to be post-graduation. But, when you enter your first semester and everyone around you has a 5-year plan, strict goals, and the luxury of knowing what they were meant to do, the words that were meant to reassure you suddenly become less and less meaningful.
While college is indeed a place to probe through all your likes and dislikes, it is also a place where the comparison comes naturally.
I am about to enter my sophomore year, and to all my aunts, uncles, random family members, and my mom's friends I see in the grocery store: No, I do not know what I want to do after leaving Syracuse. We grow up in a world that emphasizes and over-exaggerates the importance of time.
Everything appears to be a race, when in reality, what's best for you may take more than one engineering or history course to discover.
So, if you are just entering your freshman year and are praying that the reassurance from older generations that you "really don't have to know what you want to do," and that "You have time!" are true, or if you are halfway through your college career and are stuck feeling behind in comparison to your peers, DO NOT WORRY.
You will figure it out.
Maybe it's something you would have never expected. Or maybe you have been discouraged from your true passion because "there are no jobs in that field." Regardless of what is happening in your life, I can reassure you that your college major is not everything. You can get a degree in one area and end up doing something completely different.
Good things take time. It is up to you to trust yourself and your instincts. In a society so focused on work, comparison, and the importance of time in all the wrong ways, becoming discouraged is the easiest thing in the world. Understanding that you have to do what is best for YOU and following through with it, no matter how long it takes, is one of the bravest things in the world.
Allow yourself to struggle, question, and make mistakes. Be gentle and kind to yourself, too. You will figure it out and you will create a life you love, just give yourself the time to.
An Utterly Confused and Undecided College Student