How Fear Almost Stopped Me from Getting an On Campus Job

Coming into college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be a dentist, so I came in as a biology major. Once I found out how many chemistry classes I had to take, I quickly switched my career choice. Maybe being a lawyer was my thing?  I mean, I like to debate, and I’m interested in forensics and the dead. Or maybe I should be a psychologist and do research in a lab. I was never sure what I wanted to do and what I was passionate about. My interests changed semester to semester and it was hard for me to find a major. I eventually decided that psychology was something I was good at and I stuck with it. 

It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I understood what my passion was. One of my friends had posted on his snapchat story that the “EcoReps” were hiring. My first thought was what the hell is an EcoRep. After some research, I learned it was an internship on campus that focused on promoting sustainability to students and faculty. That sounded cool to me. Was I going to apply? No way

As much as the job sounded like something I would want to do, I wasn’t an environmental science major. I wasn’t an environmental engineering major. My major had nothing to do with the environment. Every day I wanted to apply but every day I told myself I wasn’t qualified. I told myself I wasn’t good enough. So, I sat at my laptop for a month and looked at the empty application until the filing period closed.

A week passed, and my same friend posted about the Student Sustainability Council meeting on campus. I had a long gap in-between my classes and I decided to show up. As I was walking there, something inside of me told me I wasn’t qualified again. Who was I to walk into this council meeting? I know nothing about how to live a sustainable life. I brushed it all off and continued my way to the meeting. 

At the meeting I met the EcoRep Coordinator. My goal was simple: ask her when they are opening applications again for the EcoRep position. The fear set in again that I wasn’t fit for the job. I wasn’t qualified for the job, I was barely qualified to talk to the coordinator. I pushed through the fear and asked anyway. She told me that I was still welcome to apply and to send my resume to her. I got home and sent it right to her. I got an interview. I got the job. Not only that, I became the vice president of the student sustainability council. I found my passion in sustainability. I just had to stop being afraid. 

The key to stop being afraid is to have confidence. Now, having confidence sounds easy, but it’s something a lot of people, including myself, struggle with. What’s my best advice for confidence? Be yourself. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t care what anybody thinks about you, because, frankly, nobody is judging you as much as you think they are. Once you let go of the stress of trying to be somebody else, confidence grows. The more you learn to be yourself, the more self-confidence you will have. Be yourself in your application, be yourself in an interview, and most importantly be yourself in everyday life. 

If I had let my fears and lack of confidence stop me, I would not have gotten my dream on campus job. Fear should never hold you back. If you want something, do it. Apply to any and every job you want because you will never know what will happen. If you need help applying for jobs, visit the Career Center in SSB 230. Even if you are unqualified for the position, apply. Don’t let yourself believe that you are not good enough to get what you want. You can do anything. Be confident in yourself and follow your heart, it just might help you find your passion.