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Why It’s Okay If You Have No Idea What You Want To Do in College

My Story: The Beginning

In middle school and high school, I was always putting myself down. Growing up in as a first-generation Asian-American student, I was always pressured to be the best in academics and to pursue a career that would make me a lot of money and is "prestigious". I didn't have many options; it was basically just a doctor or a lawyer. Because of this, I had to do well in the core classes such as English, math, and science. So all in all, the subjects that I found boring and wasn't good at. This made me seriously stressed out and frustrated because it was difficult knowing that other people had their lives planned out while I was the complete opposite. This was my life up until my 3rd or 4th year of high school.

My Story: The Middle

Gaining more experience as school went on, I realized that I love helping people and always gave advice to my friends and family. I have thought about what I would enjoy learning about and at the same time, what could make me successful. I believed that a study path that could help incorporate what I love is psychology. Being excited that I finally found something that I understand and love, I planned out my entire career path. I planned to go to a specific university, take specific classes, get in my major, and graduate with a science degree in psychology. Not only that, I planned out internships and possible jobs that I could apply to. I thought it would be that easy and that I would stick to it. 

However, almost immediately after my freshman winter quarter, I realized that this isn't what I want to do anymore. I realized that it really isn't my thing and it wouldn't be good to go into a career that I don't enjoy. This thought about following this same path freaked me out and I panicked. But I told myself that it's okay.

Panicking is always the initial reaction. It should be your goal to just calm down and realize how much time you have left to figure it out. No, you do not have to pick a major by a certain time. No, you do not have to finish schooling by a certain time. Yes, it takes time.

After accepting that I could not follow through with my initial plan, I decided to approach this situation in a different way and start over. I decided to take new classes and despite being feeling discouraged about not being able to apply to a major or not knowing what to do, I still kept going. Don't be discouraged if you take a lot of time. In the end, you will find your specialty and what you enjoy to do. I ended up loving communication and sociology classes. By just sticking with something that I did not love entirely with my heart, I would not have been able to discover all of these new possible opportunities. But even then, I am not 100% sure whether I'm going to continue going on this path.

My Story: The End

In short—still in progress)

My Advice


It's okay to not know what to do during college and after. Although a majority of students know what they want to do in the future, do not feel bad if you're not one of those people. You are not the only one; everybody changes their plans all the time. Some may take a longer time than others. What counts is the effort that you put into finding something new that you're passionate about. 

Ammy Huynh

Washington '22

Ammy is a freshman at the UW and is involved in Greek life. She loves writing about fashion trends, and her college experiences and memories.
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