Don't Be Ashamed If You Change

When I was 6 years old, I told myself that I would go to UC Berkeley Medical School and become a doctor. A year later, I realized that I hate the sight of blood. Then I decided that I would become a special education teacher, I later decided that I really don’t like teaching. When I was in high school, I thought I would study Psychology, so I applied to every school as a Pre-Psychology major. The summer before my freshman year, I figured that Psychology was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I decided on studying science, but after a semester, I knew that it was not my best choice. On the other hand, my older brother knew what his career path would be by the age of 3, and 25 years later he is still satisfied with his choice.

I look at my friends and I see people that I had my Chem 110 class with my first semester because we all wanted to study science or engineering. As I see us now, we are not the same people from two years ago and we do not have the same passions and goals that we had that first time we met. It took some of us a longer time to realize what we really wanted to, whether it was because the “major was too hard” or “it doesn’t pay enough”. Along with some of us changing our majors, we ran into the risk of not completing our classes within the expected 4 years of college.

I look at my passions and interests and I know that I have made a positive and secure choice with what I am studying now - although it took me a couple more tries to finally decide. I know I frustrated my parents when I arrived home every semester and told them that each time I was studying something new, but luckily I am in a good place now. In my opinion, it’s the hardest part to find something that can satisfy you and the people around you all while giving you security and benefits. We do not have enough experience to know what we want, unless from a young age we exposed ourselves to something we could love so much that we would be satisfied doing it forever.

Some of us are not very good at math and some of us are not patient enough for teaching and some of us are bad at socializing. Some of us can handle one challenge well while others are fine under the pressure of multiple problems. Regardless of what we’re bad at, we are all good at something, even if we may not have found it yet. College presents us with so many options. You can double major, minor, get certificates, join hundreds of organizations and make a diverse group of friends. Although you’ve been told to limit yourself to one thing, you shouldn’t. You don’t know what you’re missing by exploring every option you are presented with.

While you attend college, you should be taking as many risks as you can. You can do your research and take your time or you can throw yourself in and join everything you express a slight interest in. There is a huge pressure about the time and money we use up by being here. I am a firm believer that when you find the right thing for you, it will pay itself off because you will not get tired of it. There are many different paths you can take until you find the right one, do not be ashamed of the time it is taking you to find it. Sometimes we look forward to something that we thought would be perfect for us, only to find out that we are not cut out for it.

I can say that I was afraid to tell my friends and family that I would not succeed in science the first time around and they suggested that I stick to it for an extra semester. It was at that time that I knew I had to do what makes me happy rather than what would impress everyone else. Now, I find it more impressive that you have enough will to break from the standard and find what you love rather than conform to what you are told. Four years is a short time compared to the next 30 or 40 that you will spend working. Although there has been such a standard that we must graduate in four years prepared to work in one field forever, we can no longer be so satisfied with that limit. Don’t be ashamed of not graduating “on time” and don’t be afraid of switching out of your major. Changing your major more than once can shape you to be a better fit for what you actually decide on in the end. Changing your major will lead you to find something that you are more passionate about, something that you will be eager to study and work in. You’d be a better fit for an employer when you’ve decided, after so many tries, that this is what you actually want. It’s a scary and frustrating time, but college is a time of maturity. We grow into people who have experienced failure and who have experienced success, and how is that possible if we do not take the chances that we have so commonly been told not to? Don’t play it safe. Take a risk and learn more about who you really are and what your own real goals are, despite your timing. Break limits, stereotypes, and social norms.


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