On College and Self-Exploration

For the past couple of years, my college experience has been focused around finding the right major and career for me.  When I first started college, I chose a bland major, figuring that I would graduate, then get a comfy office job doing anything that offered me some stability.  In my third year of college, I started taking upper division courses within my major and I began a new, comfy part-time office job.  Now, although I love my job and wouldn’t choose to work anywhere else while pursuing my degree, I quickly learned that I’d be happier working outside of an office once I begin a full time situation.  I also realized that my degree in my bland major was not going to help me create an amazing career that I’d be happy doing for the rest of my life.  Now in my fourth year, I have made the decision to change my major, a decision most people make sometime in the first year.

Despite changing my major, which has only further widened the gap between me and my degree, I am still not one hundred percent sure as to what I want to do with my life.  This sentiment has been met with mixed feelings from my family and friends.  Most people closer to my age tell me, “It’s fine to not know what you want to do.  You’ll figure it out eventually.”  Usually, upon hearing this response, I silently reply, “Psh, you’re only about six months older than me.  What do you know?”  The other response comes from people within older generations, and is usually something along the lines of, “You need to know  now what you want to do with your life.  Otherwise you’re wasting your time and money in college.”  Now, hold on!  This response seems a bit unfair.  I’m 21, and I personally expect to live until I’m 100 (too optimistic?),  so it seems unrealistic to have the next seventy-nine percent of my life figured out.

My sister, however, who has always been supportive and always has an alternative viewpoint to offer, sent me a link to this blog by Penelope Trunk.  Essentially, Trunk tells her readers to do things that are traditionally seen as unproductive and unprofitable in order to find their niche in society.  While poking around on her blog, I also found an article that encouraged young professionals in their twenties to “get lost.”

I guess I’ve always worried that I was falling behind the rest of my peers.  Just going through my friend list on facebook, I can see that a good number of people that I’ve gone to high school with, and are not much older than I am, are graduating college, starting their careers, getting engaged, and getting married.  Soon, they’ll be having children.  Now, while I have decided that I’m probably not going to get married and have kids, there’s still have feeling I have about falling behind.  While some of my friends have jumped into their careers at the age of 22, I won’t be graduating until I’m 24 (IF I stay on track).  All the same, I do appreciate Trunk’s view on career-finding and self-exploration, however.  It might take me until I’m thirty to find a career that I enjoy, but at least I will have found something productive and fulfilling to do with my life.  I’d much rather do something I enjoy rather than something just for the sake of making money (although extra money would help to fund my relocation to New York City, but that’s another story).

Well, I assume this means it’s time for me to charge at things head first.  I’ll finish college as fast as possible, and then move on to the next stage of my life: self-exploration during the rest of my twenties.  Let’s go at this together, shall we?

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