As soon as we enter college, we're expected by almost everyone around us to know exactly what we want to do after we graduate. The truth is, though, that so many of us don't even know what we want to major in when we first come to college. A lot of students change their majors, transfer schools, change their minds about grad school, etc. It's more common than you'd think, and that's okay.
I changed my plans 3 times. Thankfully I knew the entire time that I still wanted to do something with psychology, but when I first came to college I wanted to work in a child clinical setting and get my Ph.D. By sophomore year I wanted to work in addiction rehab with a Ph.D. By junior year I wanted to do addiction research with a Ph.D. By the end of fall semester of junior year (now), I fell back into wanting to do child clinical work, but with a Psy.D. this time. I kept switching back and forth between a Ph.D, Psy.D, just a Master's, or doing a Master's before a Doctorate. I'm going into my second half of junior year, I have to study and take the GRE soon, then apply to grad school, and I still haven't decided which path I want to take to further my education.
But that's okay. Plans change often, we find something that would suit us better, and it's all an important self-growth process. Through changing my plans so often just to fall back into wanting to do what I originally wanted to, I figured out that child clinical psychology was what I was meant to do. I'm just not sure how I want to get there.
I started looking at grad schools all semester of my freshman year (yes I know, but there are so many options that it's good to start early). I somehow stumbled upon West Virginia University, and I've been obsessed with the school ever since. I even went on a grad school visit to WVU this past May. I instantly fell in love with the campus and Morgantown West Virginia. WVU became my #1 grad school option for a Ph.D. program. Except now, I figured out that a Psy.D. would fit my career plans better, and unfortunately, WVU doesn't have a Psy.D. program. Now I have to search for schools that do and work from that list.
I'm going into the second half of my junior year, and time is ticking. I feel so much pressure to make a quick decision and I'm worried that I'll make the wrong decision. But I've talked to seniors that don't even know what they want to do, and they seem so calm about it. This helped relieve some of my stress. I got lucky with my cognitive psychology professor this semester, because she's basically the expert on grad school in the psychology department, and will welcome any student into her office with open arms to talk about grad school. She has packets and everything!
So whether you're a freshman or a senior, remember that it is okay to not know what you want to do or how you want to get there. You have some time, and everything will fall into place.