Just because it is time for you to go to college, you are expected to know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Then, when you attempt to choose a major, people bombard you with questions that can be overwhelming and exhausting to think about: “What are you going to do with that degree?” “Are you going to graduate school?” “You know nobody makes a career out of that, right?”
Nobody likes to juggle all of these questions, and nobody should have to. A lot of people come to college and panic because they think it is expected of them to know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives. What I want to convey to you is how important it is to study what you love; the rest will fall into place. Some people have known what they want to do for a living since they were five years old, but for most of us, that is just not the case. And that is okay!
Declaring a major does not need to be as intimidating as it is made out to be. Over eighty percent of students change their major at least once throughout college, so clearly the majority of students at OSU know what it is like to have a change of heart. I encourage you to be flexible, and allow change to take place if something does not feel right for you. There are so many careers that exist that do not fall under the category of lawyer, doctor, or teacher. As long as you are excited to learn and enjoy how you spend your time, you will attract positive outcomes and situations into your life to help you along your journey. So try different kinds of classes, get outside of your comfort zone, and start learning about yourself so you can really know what you want out of life!
I want to share my story briefly, just so you can get an idea of how much following your heart can lead you to the right place. I came to OSU before I was ready to make any big decisions; it was convenient, and I was not ready to be proactive with my life. I started as an Engineering major, and went through the motions of taking classes for over two years before I stopped and asked myself, “What do I actually want to do with my life?” I had never taken the time to think about what I wanted to do; I was just going along mindlessly. I ended up changing my major last winter to Sociology, and following my major change I was able to study abroad in Ireland last summer where I literally fell in love with life all over again. Because of my journey abroad, I realized I did want the challenge of Engineering in my life, as well as my new-found interest in Sociology. I have now decided to finish both degrees, creating a path that works best for me and suits all of my interests. If I had kept powering along without questioning my interests or trying to figure out what I really wanted, I would have never been able to go to Ireland and travel Europe, nor would I have realized that I really did enjoy my engineering classes as well as Sociology. It has all worked out perfectly, though if someone would have told me that sequence of events my freshman year I would have never believed them! Trust your feelings and be honest with yourself and you will be successful, I guarantee it.
I have two quotes I want to leave you with, all awe-inspiring and cute-like to get you motivated. The first quote is probably in my Top 5 for favorite quotes of all time: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs, is more people who have come alive.” I think this one speaks for itself.
One more for the finale, and please don’t judge me too harshly for referencing a Twilight movie, but this graduation speech is hard to beat:
“When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were things like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess. When we were ten, they asked again and we answered – rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we’ve grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how ’bout this: who the hell knows?! This isn’t the time to make hard and fast decisions; it’s a time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. Fall in love – a lot. Major in philosophy. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent. So make as many mistakes as you can. That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won’t have to guess. We’ll know.”