When I visited high school after my first year at university was complete, my teacher wanted me and my friend to participate in a quick Q&A about college, the dreadful application process, and student life on campus. One of the more notable questions concerned deciding a major/concentration if you did not have one already, and suffice to say, that was one of my biggest struggles throughout the whole year.
During high school, I always had in mind that I would become a diplomat. I came into university with the goal of majoring in government & politics, with a specific focus on international relations, but as I thought more and more about it, the idea just….dissolved…as if the spirit and the passion weren’t there anymore. Then, I dabbled around with more majors, trying to see if I could major in Linguistics, study German, attempt Anthropology or even try my hand at Communication. Needless to say, I was confused beyond relief. Not only did I have no goal in sight, but my parents also weren’t exactly the best help either. “Major in accounting! Major in engineering,” is what they would say, but I didn’t want to and I probably never will on account of the fact that I’m simply not interested in those fields. It led to a huge divide between us; one that would not be solved for quite some time.
So, I had no real idea in mind and no real clue where to go. What did I do? I simply floated along for a while. However, more importantly, I began to experiment and dabble with actual classes, like history, philanthropy, international relations, language, and moreso, I worked with my advisor to pinpoint my strengths and my weaknesses, my likes and my dislikes, and what I really could see myself doing, regardless of money. These strategies, and lots and lots of venting, got me through my struggle.
Eventually, I settled for a humanities-based major based off the class that stuck to me the most. Needless to say, everyone has a different way of choosing a major, and everyone has a different path to follow, but with all the worriment that I went through, in retrospect, is deciding a major at such a young age a valid choice? We’re so young and so full of life; do we really know what we want in our careers forty years from now at eighteen? Some of my friends do not have to choose majors until their sophomore year, and to an extent, I wish I received that same chance because, to put it elegantly, ”My goal is not wake up at forty with the bitter realization that I’ve wasted my life in a job I hate because I was forced to decide on a career in my teens,” as said by Daria Morgendorffer.