The problem with college is seasons change: here’s what to do about it.

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You’re 17, possibly 18, years old and fresh out of high school. Maybe you’re glad to be done like I was – ready to finally start learning relevant things that would propel me into my future. And maybe like me, eight years later, you realize that’s not what happened. Because the problem with college is seasons change.

What did you want to be when you were six years old? An astronaut? A firefighter? A cook? A dog? (We all went through the I want to be an animal faze, right?) I wanted to be a ballerina.

Do you still want to be those things today? Maybe you do. Maybe you’ve have the same dream your entire life and are actively pursing it to this day. That’s great! But I’m guessing a lot of us have gone through many variations of this is what I want to be when I grow up. So, imagine if you had to be what you thought you wanted to be when you were six.

My interests have changed since I was six, and they’ve changed since I’ve gone to and graduated from college. As we go throughout life and grow as people, we change. Our interests, hobbies, goals, values, and life missions evolve throughout the years. Because of this, I graduated college with a degree in something I do not want to do, and I learned that I didn’t want to do it after I graduated and worked in the field I studied. Bummer.

College asks us what we want to be for the rest of our lives. But life works in seasons accompanied by change rather than static absolutes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am glad I went to a university, did my four years of college education, and graduated with the piece of paper that has allowed me to get decent jobs more easily than if I didn’t have it. This day and age, that is the process, it’s what works. So I’m glad I did it, I just wish I would have known a little more about myself, and about life in general, when I made a decision that would direct my career course. Things like this:

Don’t be afraid to take some time.

After high school, it’s ok to not go directly to a university and instead take some time to pursue different interests and career paths before jumping into college, declaring a major, spending huge amounts of time and money and then realizing it’s not what you want to be studying. 

Find internships.

This is something I didn’t do and I so wish I would have. There are many companies and businesses that offer summer internships to students or very part-time positions during the school year. Actually working at a company, and doing the work you think you want to do, will start to solidified if you truly want a career in that field. Plus, it could lead a to full-time job offer a well. 

Don’t be afraid to change your major.

If you’re a year and a half in to your major and realize it’s not what you expected, it’s ok to declare a new major. Even if it will put you back some, that is way better than working hard for something you don’t really even want. BUT only change it if it’s truly what you want.

My Freshmen year of college I was told being a writer wasn’t going to provide me with a stable enough income, and instead of pursing English and Journalism, I needed to pick something that would make me steady money and simply do writing on the side. I don’t know why I listened but I did, and now I have a degree is Sociology when all I want to do with my time and my career is write.

College tells us we can only have one passion, one career path, and we have to decide what that’s going to be before we really know.

Luckily I have been able to find ways to steer myself down the career path I want to pursue, even without a formal education in those areas – thank you, Jesus! So I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I would have liked to be formally trained and be able to show proof of what I know and what I can do.

Still, even to this day I’m not certain of exactly what I want to do when I grow up. Though I definitely have a better idea and am exploring different avenues, I’m still trying to figure it out, and that’s ok. Don’t be afraid to try something for a season; it doesn’t mean you have to do it for the rest of your life. College teaches us we can only have one passion, one career path, and we have to decide what that’s going to be before we really know. This isn’t true. Don’t be afraid to take some time and figure out you.

. . .

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

2 comments on “The problem with college is seasons change: here’s what to do about it.”

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