College is a big, jumbled, confusing mess. And if you say otherwise, please teach me your ways. With that being said, I would like to send a message to all the freshmen college students. College is a place for change, growth and realizations. I promise you, it will figure itself out. If you feel lost now, know you won’t always feel that way.
A big part of that lost feeling is choosing your major. And let me tell you, I can attest to that. I started my freshman year in the Athletic Training major. I was taking Anatomy, Anatomy lab, Intro to Psychology, Nutrition, Nutrition lab, Intro to Athletic Training, Emergency Medical Responder, and Emergency Medical Responder lab (against my will, might I add, thank you to whoever chose that insane schedule for me). This was a major I found interesting but didn’t fully love as I should have. I lost motivation halfway through the semester to try in my classes and to succeed in my first semester. For the sake of transparency, that resulted in two failed classes and two failed labs and me begging for the university to give me another chance. Oh, and a lot of tears.
Thankfully, I was allowed another shot at college and changed my major to Undecided with the hopes of becoming a Communication major. In my second semester, I focused on taking gen-eds and classes I was interested in and knew I could succeed in. For my sophomore year, I was still on the track of becoming a Communication major, while taking two communication pre-requisites. Again, I found myself enjoying those topics, but just not loving the path I was on. I see a pattern forming, don’t you?
After countless emails with my advisor and in-persons meetings to try and figure out what damn path I wanted to go down, I decided to switch my major to a dual study in Sociology and Justice Studies with a minor in Forensics. Now, before you read this and say “How in the world did she go from Athletic Training to Communications to Sociology and Justice Studies?!“, let me tell you that I don’t have an answer for you. To be quite honest, I have always had an interest in Criminology, but UNH doesn’t offer that as a major within itself, so I had to find a loop-hole. Now, I’m in my junior year, in a major I love and am interested in. I love it so much I want to go to law school (wish me luck) and embark on the path of becoming a lawyer.
Decisiveness isn’t a trait I possess and that hurt me throughout my path of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my future. However, to all my undecided and confused college freshmen out there, you’ll find your passion. Entering the world of college isn’t easy by any means, especially if you’re going into it during this pandemic.
Please know that it is completely normal to be stressed, confused and lost. You’re entering a totally different world, with all of these options laid out in front of you and a whole university staff staring at you waiting for you to make a decision. Something that helped me figure out my best path was looking at every major that appealed to me and furthering my search into what jobs can come out of that degree. Make a pros and cons list, look at the workload, TALK TO YOUR ADVISOR! Use your resources, student advising committees are there to help and work with you, they want you to succeed. Talk to your friends, ask them about their majors,and see if that could be something you would be interested in. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, being confused can lead to some of the greatest discoveries.
We need to normalize not knowing what you want to do with your life at 17. To make such a big decision is a large weight to carry on your shoulders, it’s not fair to you to feel pressured into making such a big decision. It is more than okay to enter college undecided and not figure it out until the last possible minute of your sophomore year. Also, let’s normalize college not being for everyone! It is more than okay to take a break to figure things out or to decide to never come back. This is your life we’re talking about here, your future. Take time with that, take time for yourself to sit down and fully decide on what is best for you.
If you take anything from this article let it be this:
College is a home for you to grow, change, to be confused, learn and discover new passions. I know how it feels to be lost, to second guess yourself, to question your entire existence. Trust me, it will all fall into place and figure itself out. Take time for yourself to healthily decide what path is best for you and your future. Cry about it, dedicate time to care for yourself, read a book, meditate, exercise, vent to your friends, your mom, your sister, your dad! Scream and yell, journal, anything! You have so much time to make this decision, remember that. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, it will all be okay and you will succeed! Be well, everyone.