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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

College, though it is a privilege to be able to attend these days, can be a very stressful and overwhelming time period. It is so difficult to decide at a young age (usually less than 18 years old), what you want to do for the rest of your life. I remember from my own teenage years that my extended family members began asking me what I wanted to become when I was older starting in my sophomore year of high school. From the span of my sophomore year to my senior year of high school, my dream job changed at least three times.

First, I wanted to be a Spanish teacher because I loved my Spanish class, then I wanted to be a teacher of any subject, and finally, I landed on my original childhood dream of becoming a physical therapist. Since I was very young, I had always thought about becoming a physical therapist, I just did not know if it was feasible given the amount of schooling. It can be an immense burden for a teenager to make a decision that is costly and affects the rest of their life.

It is true that people can go in undecided, but that does not mean the stress is any less for them! They have to constantly be thinking about what classes they like, and whether it would be a good fit for them. Now, people can also decide to change their major at some point throughout the four years, BUT that is an incredibly difficult decision to make. Before they make the switch, they must be certain that they will not want to reenter this field later, or otherwise, they would be putting money in towards a new major that they don’t end up completing.

My major is Kinesiology, and I love my major, however, I am very anxious because I have not started schooling specifically for physical therapy yet. I spend a lot of time thinking about what my backup plan will be if I decide physical therapy is not for me. I am constantly overwhelmed with the thought of all of the money that has gone towards the specific courses I have had to take in order to apply for PT school going to waste. College is insanely expensive, and I don’t want to waste money on a schedule of courses that I may end up not needing.

, It can be overwhelming when trying to decipher if you can handle the workload of a major. Grades and assessments can get in your head. But it is important to remember that one grade on an exam does not determine if one is a good physical therapist, nurse, psychologist, etc. It is a very easy trap to fall into, one I have fallen into many, many times, obsessing over grades and GPAs, but it is crucial to remind yourself that these things do not define your worth.

It is important to remember to be in touch with yourself and your feelings during these years. My dad always told me that college is where you get to learn how to learn and explore what it is that makes your heart come alive with passion. College is a very overwhelming time, but it is the place where you get to embark on your journey to receive an education that will bring you to your future job. College can sometimes feel like a race to the finish line. But often, the time spent during the race is what matters most. Ensure that you’re checking in with yourself throughout the race: how you’re feeling, if your pace is too fast, if you really don’t like running at all. College is where you get to develop and become the person that you are destined to be and learn what it is that will bring you feelings of accomplishment and happiness in your life.

College can get insanely stressful at times. But recognizing that this is just a stage in your life where you are trying to learn more about yourself and what you want to do can help ease that. It’s rare for someone to expect a college student to know exactly what they want to do at 18 years old. If they just so happen to know at 18 and end up loving their job then that is amazing for them, but it is not expected. College is just one of those in-between stages of life where you get to grow, learn, and meet a variety of people who could end up changing your life. Looking at it from this perspective helps me a lot.

Hey I'm Claudia (my nickname is Dia :) ) and I am a Kinesiology major! One of my deepest passions is long distance running, and I recently just ran my first half marathon last March. I also love bullet journaling to manage stress & anxiety, reading, and listening to music. I am also very involved with topics of managing mental health and love reading inspirational or hopeful quotes!