What to Do When You Want to Do It All

Last week, you wanted to be a teacher; yesterday, a doctor; today, somewhere between a world traveler and CEO of your own major enterprise. Does this range of ambitions sound familiar? Having lots of interests and a passionate drive to pursue them is the foundation for every successful liberal arts student, but it can also be our biggest frustration. College is the place to explore new interests, new people and new endeavors, but all the “new” can be equally as intimidating as it is exciting.  Being away from home and learning how to live on your own is a big transition to begin with, and on top of that there is the inevitable quest to map out your future.

Choosing a major is always a hot topic for first-year undecided students, even though we’ve only been on campus for three months. If it were as simple as majoring in ‘everything’ or ‘something you’re actually interested in AND will get you a good job,’ the choice would be simple. Unfortunately, we’ve been looking through the course catalog for what feels like years and we can’t seem to find it. At some point between Accepted Students Day and the first day of classes, the connotation of ‘undecided’ went from a widely accepted norm to a frantic and confusing state of mind.

And while figuring out your major or career doesn’t have to happen today, society wants us to do exactly that – society, of course, referring to all the adults in your hometown who want to know your every move and live vicariously through your college experience. Suddenly, there is an immense amount of pressure to know exactly what you want to do without having the experience to back it up. They say it all works out in the end – and it will – but where do you begin when the only thing you have decided is that you want to do everything?

Collegiettes, even though we’re still trying to figure it out ourselves, HC Bucknell has a few tips for mitigating your major-induced stress!

  1. Stay calm! This can be hard at times, but it’s the most important thing you can do. Frantically throwing your hands in the air and trying to reorganize your entire life may seem helpful, but it’s not. Staying up until 2 a.m. taking quizzes and aptitude tests to give you the answers is a waste of your time. Finding your passion will happen naturally, we promise!
  2. Try as much as you can! If you want to do everything, the solution to this anxiety seems pretty simple: DO IT! Take risky classes, join interesting clubs, attend cool events, travel. Do whatever interests you; the only way to find your passions is to go out there and look for them.
  3. Take advantage of your new friendships to ease your mind from the ‘pressing issues’ at hand. Sometimes all you need is a few friends and a movie night to help you gain some much needed perspective.

And, trust us on this one: as long as you keep giving your all in everything you do, you will eventually be able to look back and laugh at how silly your worries were in college.