What's Next? How to Navigate Post-Grad Worries

I am 21 years old and I am more uncertain about my future than ever- and that’s okay. Going into college, I had a detailed plan for the next ten years of my life. My goal was to study biology, go to medical school, and become a dermatologist. I then planned to go on to start my own practice and have a small family of four living happily ever after. Spring semester of my freshman year I realized that my ten-year-plan would quickly remain just a dream, as I was barely able to pass entry level biology and had no desire to continue in the science field. After taking a couple aptitude tests at the UA Career Center and having many lengthy phone calls with my parents, I decided to change my major to Business. 

After changing my major, I had no idea what I would do with a business degree or if I would even like studying business, yet here I am halfway through college still on the business track. As someone who was so determined to manifest this ten-year-plan, changing my major was one of the scariest choices I’ve made in college. Changing your major in college is as common as people say it is, which is not a bad thing. Choosing to change majors is usually pretty obvious for most people, but I have found that the hard part is deciding what to do post-grad with this new major. “What are your plans for post-college as of now?” That’s a common question I’ve received over the past year, but my answer remains the same: I don’t know. 

Being uncertain about life after college is something that scared me and triggered a lot of anxiety, as it does for many young people. Talking to my parents and my friends’ parents has helped me control my anxiety. They have helped remind me that one’s twenties are meant for growth and to be enjoyed. My best friend’s dad told me about his experience in his later years at Alabama. He told me by his senior year of undergraduate school, he didn’t have any job offers he liked and didn’t want to leave Tuscaloosa. I asked him what he did, and he simply said, “I stayed and got my masters.” I think that was a great plan.

As of now, I also plan to stay in Tuscaloosa after my senior year of undergraduate school to get my masters. It’s hard to tell if I will actually execute this “master” plan, since anything can occur over these last two years of my undergraduate career. Who knows, I could get an amazing job offer during my senior year, which would cause a change in my post-grad plan. Changing plans and not having a clear vision of the future is scary, but it is something that a large majority of college students have to undergo in order to grow and find their place in the world. I know for a fact, however, that I plan on enjoying my twenties as much as I can and that will not change.