It's Okay to Not Know Yet
March 10, 2021
The expectations seem high, but just know that your decisions right now aren't permanent.
What are you going to major in? What are you interested in? Well, what kind of job do you want after you graduate?
Nothing out of the ordinary, every student is bombarded with questions like these their senior year of high school, entering their first year of college. Expectations are high; it seems like you need to have everything figured out at the fresh age of eighteen.
Perhaps similar to the high majority of students entering college, I wasn’t quite sure what it was that I wanted to do. I had taken a wide variety of subjects in high school - and yes, some were fun, and some were, definitely not. I knew what it was that I didn’t want to do, but there wasn’t anything in particular that I was truly passionate yet. Hence, when it came time to applying to schools, I began to stress about how I would find the best school for my major, if I wasn’t even certain what my major was going to be yet.
Luckily, after a rather convincing AP Psychology class my senior year of high school, I knew that I was interested in humanities, and more specifically, the way our thoughts affect our actions. But, I knew that it wasn’t the science behind psychology that I wanted to study. The aspect of psychology that I found most interesting was the application portion. I wanted to study how to apply the way people think to real life situations, which eventually brought me to consumer behavior. After many weeks of research and asking around, I decided to commit to a marketing major.
However, the point of the story here isn’t to major in marketing or business. It is to understand that your decisions right now aren’t permanent. Yes, they do have impact and consequences, but there is room to change and to learn. One of the things that made it easiest for me to commit was remembering the fact that I could always revisit my decision if I realized it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Even a year or even two into college, you can always choose to change your mind and drive a different route.
If I were to give advice to anyone who isn’t sure about what it is that they exactly want to study yet, I’d say the best thing you can do is to stay open minded. Try anything and everything. College is amazing in that you have the opportunity and the resources to try a plethora of classes and dabble into subjects that you may have never even heard of before. My sophomore year, I took an Innovation course, not having any idea what that would even entail. However, I ended up gaining insights on everything from how to solve pain points to how to stay motivated when entrepreneurship projects don’t work out. Naturally, you’ll also meet peers who are more certain about what it is that they want to study too. In that case, don’t be intimidated or discouraged, but instead listen! Listen to why they are passionate about those majors, those fields, those industries. It will help you to learn more about different areas and decipher for yourself if those are subjects that interest you. And if not, that will help you narrow down your search.
In the end, everyone has their own journey. Pre-college, during, and post. Don’t let the expectations of a “normal" college trajectory or the people around you discern how you see yourself and your own journey. It’s okay to not know.
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