I am a couple of months into college, and I have already switched my intended major. And I may change my mind again. And again. But that doesn’t mean I’m not as motivated or hardworking or focused as the students who have their careers carefully planned out. It doesn’t mean I don’t have aspirations, too. Or that I won’t be as successful.
Being “undecided” simply means that I’m shifting identities more. Or that I haven’t learned as much about myself and what I want in life yet. Or that I haven’t found what excites me to get up every morning. And that’s OK. Because how can I know who I want to become when I have yet to discover who I am?
Since I’m constantly surrounded by incredibly talented, determined, and passionate individuals, it has definitely been harder to realize that it’s OK not to know what I want to do with my life. However, I’ve come to realize that not knowing what career I want doesn’t mean I’m not as good as my more assured peers. Reaching this conclusion has encouraged me to learn from the many exceptional people around me. I want to find a topic that sparks my curiosity, excitement, and thirst to learn and discover as much as their academic passions do. Being “undecided” has given me the opportunity to explore a wider range of areas. So, like almost everything in life, it has had its pros and cons.
The students who have a clear vision of what they want to achieve within their field stand out, making it seem like they compose the majority, when in fact they do not. This phenomenon makes students who are undecided or wavering between majors and intended careers feel like outliers who are way behind. In reality, their process of finding a passion is just longer.
While societal norms, older generations, or even our own conscience tend to reinforce the idea that at this point in our schooling we should have a sense of direction, I strongly believe that we must destigmatize being undecided. Many of us are not in touch with ourselves enough to concretely choose a major. Taking longer to find ourselves and to figure out what we want for the future doesn’t make us less driven or capable. Arguably, it gives us more time to understand ourselves and how we can use our strengths to contribute to society, make an impact on the world, and push the people around us to be the best versions of themselves they can be.