I think back to when I was a senior in high school trying to decide what I wanted to do as a career someday, and it feels like just yesterday. That scary feeling of picking a college major is something that really doesn’t go away. It is so much pressure to be 18 years old and to be expected to know what we want to do as a career for the rest of our lives. In my opinion, we don’t really know what we want to do until we go through schooling, or even after!
Some people may disagree with me, but I think a career should be a passion. While we may get a job to make money, our career choice should be something that we truly love.
While some people know their passion from a very early age, many of us don’t figure it out until later in life. As a spring semester senior soon entering grad school, I feel what it is like to be entering what most call “the real world.”
I’m not the most fond of this term because I think all the years of schooling and even life in general should be considered “real.” It is all too real when we graduate from high school and move miles away from home, it’s real when we skip class to go home for the weekend, it’s real when we meet some of our best friends in college and it’s real every minute we spend studying through ridiculous hours of the night.
Many choose a major based on what they feel will make the most money— something they think they’re good at, something their parents encourage them to do—or maybe they just choose based on a class they like.
Not many think about the career aspect, and realize that after those four years of learning about a subject, we need to make the steps to create a career out of it, or at least a job to get our foot in the door.
I don’t think we should shy away from a major because we don’t think we’re good enough at the subject. Someone may love the idea of healthcare and medicine but not decide on a major in this spectrum because they had a bad high school science teacher, and it made them believe they are not good at science or made them feel like they are not smart enough to be a doctor.
If you love something, you will learn to be good at it. If you are passionate enough about a topic, you will work as hard as you possibly can to figure it out.
Here’s another scenario, which includes my story: Every day after school, when I was young, I would come home and play school with the black board that my dad made for me as a surprise birthday present. It took up my whole basement wall and it was my favorite thing. I had pretend students, pretend names, pretend lessons to write and papers to grade. All throughout high school and at the beginning of college, I knew I wanted to be a teacher someday.
Something turned me away from it. Maybe it was the people in my ear about not being able to find a job and that it doesn’t pay good money, or maybe it was my curiosity of a different major because I felt too “safe” choosing to be an education major, but I ended up switching my major to communication studies because I enjoyed people and liked talking to them.
I am graduating in May and also beginning my master’s degree in education in the fall. I realized I was leaving my passion behind, and I did not want the chance to get away from me. I don’t care that it took me four years to figure it out because I wouldn’t have known without taking the leap to a different area of studies. My point here is that we can find our passion when we least expect it, and we eventually will at some point, even if it’s when you’re finishing up your undergrad.
I hope this piece finds the people who need it. Maybe you’re unsure of your major now, but it’s never too late to change it! If you know your passion, share this piece with younger family members or friends who are unsure, or with new students who are in the process of deciding on a major.
It’s unrealistic to know exactly what we want to do with our lives by the time we are 18, and that’s okay. Your journey is sure to take you where you need to be in its own time.
Breanna Connell is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at BC810217@wcupa.edu.