Is college for me? A message about finding yourself within four years

College is an educational system that many use to determine their future.

News flash: what you do in college does not determine who you are or who you will become later in life.

The big deal about college is that within these four years, it makes people feel as though they have to find themselves, find their passion, and perfect it upon entry, or else they'll feel as if every day they're wasting time and money. In reality, college is the place where one is able to make all of the mistakes they can. It's one big learning experience, education wise as well as identity wise.

Majors are one of the big stressors of college. Figuring out what you want to major/ focus on, during your studies usually gives people the most issues. A vast majority of people enter college with this big, thought out plan of how their life is going to play out. Take me for example, I came into college with this idea that I was going to major in Criminal Justice and pursue law as my career path. Guess what? For the vast majority that comes in with a plan, they eventually take an entirely new path. Myself, again, am currently an intended English major. At first, I was devastated that I was changing my major. I thought it meant that I wasn't as passionate about criminal justice as I claimed to be. I thought that criminal justice and law as a whole wasn't for me anymore. But no, none of this is true. You can major something in college, perfect it, etc. and still end up on a different path as a grown adult. Me majoring in English was honestly the best thing for me to do. From an educational standpoint, changing my major to English definitely boosted my grades as well as my confidence that maybe college is for me. It also gave me the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new, something challenging for me. I came to college with no real backup plan and ended up finding one. I can still go to law school with a masters degree in English. I'm still just as passionate about law as I was before. My major will not determine my career path nor my fate.


Advice: always have a backup plan, if not early on, then soon enough.

I advise this because it took me my fourth semester to realize that an English major would be best for me. I stuck around in the criminal justice major simply because I thought if I kept trying, though I wasn't doing as well, I would eventually understand. It was crucial to my grades and to my happiness. Finding English to be my back up plan so late in the game was a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I'm much happier but a curse because I could've been happier at an earlier time.

Advice: don't come to college thinking that you have everything all figured out.

College is the one place where one day you can wake up and feel like an entirely new person. Don't ever think that you'll be the same forever. College is where you truly find yourself. It's the time of self-exploration. You'll take some thought provoking classes that'll have you stuck like "wow, this is me" or "wow, this is my opinion". You'll have those classes that'll make you even more passionate about something than ever before, whether or not it's related to your original life plan. You'll even have those classes that provide you with opportunities you never imagined.


Advice: step outside of your comfort zone.

If you're ever bored on campus or feeling like you need something new, find a club and join. Colleges are full of clubs/organizations that can range from racial equality to online gaming. Clubs always help you find a new social group. Joining clubs allow you to be around people who you can relate to in some sort of way. It is also a great way to build connections. Connections are a major key in college. It's all about who you know.


Advice: if all else fails, never settle.

If you feel as though you're unhappy and just in college because everyone is pressuring you to be, don't. Do not settle for anything in life. If you are uncomfortable in college, then it may not be for you. What's for you will always be for you! Remember, there's always a reasoning behind something. Sometimes an uncomfortable situation may lead you to where you truly need to be in life. If college is not for you, so be it. Life goes on. There are plenty of other ways in this world for you to succeed in life.



Ayanna currently attends the University at Albany, SUNY. She has a major in English and a double minor in Sociology and Africana studies. She's a firm believer in positivity, self-love and working towards her dreams. She's all about positive vibes and positive energy. You can follow her on Twitter & Instagram @ayannaSZN. 

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