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Wednesday Wisdom: What To Do When You’re At a Crossroads

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

It took four years of soul-searching but now it all makes sense: here’s what I’ve learned about life from my rocky relationship with the concept of an “undergraduate major.”

The flings have been numerous. From Mathematics (calculus, you still have a special place in my heart), to Civil Engineering (this lasted only three days… he was really into the analytics of soil and concrete, but I wasn’t about that life), to Psychology (still a burning flame), and then, finally, I met Elementary Education, to whom I have been in a long-term relationship with for the past two years and am on track to walk across the stage with him on graduation day.

But there’s a slight problem.

Every time someone asks me what I’m majoring in, a stranger answers “elementary education,” not me, Tori. I used to pretend this feeling wasn’t there, because facing it was terrifying, but then I decided to look it in the eye for a moment. My dad asked me one night at dinner, “If you could have your dream job, what would it be?” And the voice that bolted up from my heart and out of my mouth said: “Writer.”

But of course, that’s just a dream job. It could never be real.

And then it hit me like a truck: Wait, why can’t it be real? Why do dreams have to stay dreams? What if I want to pursue a life with the goal of turning them into reality? Isn’t that kind of a beautiful way to live? But…what if that’s the most precarious decision I could make? But…what if it’s worth it?

And here lies the crossroad: Do I go down the safe, most logical, predictable route and become a teacher, or do I follow my heart, trust my intuition, and apply to grad schools for writing?

I looked to the wise words of R. Kelly for inspiration: “My mind is telling me no [to teaching], but my body, my body’s telling me yes [to writing].”

Old school R&B never fails to get me in my #feels, and apparently solve my problems!

But enough about me — let’s talk about you.

Whether it’s picking a major, adopting a new lifestyle, pondering about moving to a new place far away, questioning if you should stay or break up with someone you really care about, or any other choice significant to you — these decisions have the power to change our lives (hence their terrifying nature). But it’s not wrong to admit you’re scared, confused, lost, and maybe not okay. Hey — we all are in some aspect of our life. (If anyone tells you they have every single aspect of their life planned out to a ‘T’ and it has always turned out exactly as expected, that’s a big lie.)

But even though it may seem like the biggest weight in the world pressing down on your shoulders yelling “What do you want?! You need to decide now! Make up your mind, woman!” you’re actually lucky that life is throwing this at you.

This is an opportunity.

This is life giving you a key to unlock parts of yourself you didn’t know were there. It’s testing times like this that make us who we are, that make us strong. You owe it to yourself to grow and evolve, and you just have to hold on, have faith and get ready for the ride that comes with this ordeal. Like my role model Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That’s the moment when interesting begins.”

At your crossroads, I’m guessing you have a path that’s safe and comfortable and another that’s challenging and involves something you’ve never done before. Looking down the latter, it’s probably a bit foggier and you can’t even quite see the end. But there’s a sign at the beginning of it with big, bold letters: “Treasure ahead. Proceed with courage.”

Now that’s something you should explore.

If you’re skeptical, flip a coin — pay attention to the feeling when you see the result. Is it that you missed out on something, that you could’ve done better? That you’re bummed out? Stuck in the same place as always? Or excited? Maybe eager?

This is your intuition speaking — he’s your little buddy. He follows you around with everything you do and whatever decision you make — he’s going to set the tone of how you feel waking up to it every morning. So try to make him as happy as possible!

It’s going to be challenging, but just know that sometimes you need to lose your way in the dark to find yourself. Have a ton of “real talk” with the people who know you best, and ultimately, listen to yourself and question your values. You have this one life: what do you want your message to be? It might just be staring you in the face, and all you need to do is grab it and hold on.

So maybe your decision is crazy, but maybe it’s worth it.

Either way, nothing ever goes as planned, but it always ends up exactly as it should be.


Photo credits: crossroadsaspen.com


Tori Rubloff is a National Feature Writer and News Blogger. She is a senior at the University of Florida, and will be pursuing a Master’s in Mass Communication next fall. Her dream is to work in the journalism and writing fields to make positive social change and spread big ideas. She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, journaling and jamming out to old school R&B.