All aboard! Captain Obvious here, saying that universities are places where you learn things. So when we took our first steps on these campus grounds, what in the world made us think we knew exactly what we would want to achieve in four years or more?
College students can be grotesquely generalized into two groups: the people who are here and are not entirely sure of their direction, and the people who have a straight up non-negotiable plan. I was the latter.
I am not here to burst anyone’s bubble. I believe dreams should be taken with every meal, washed down with a cup of aspiration and all that motivational jazz. Yet, sometimes you have to realize and accept that what you once wanted isn’t what you truly want.
If this isn’t making any sense, I’ll put it in perspective. I was in medical school abroad. Then I left. Then I tried to get in at our lovely institution. Didn’t happen. I tried abroad once more and I didn’t get in.
There are obvious reasons why I wanted to get into medicine. It’s a secure job, I’d be helping people, my mom would stop comparing me to my relatives’ much more successful children. I needn’t tell you all that a career in medicine isn’t for the faint of heart, but that goes for many careers.
If you start school thinking you know how everything will end up and how you’re going to feel about your choices, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Hold your tomatoes, I’m not finished!
A huge reason why the majority of us are in the majors we’re in is because we feel like we’ve already invested so much. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into our futures — yes I’m talking about you microbiology final of 2012. You’ve already told people about your solid plan. So you can’t just change your mind now. I dare to ask, why the fuck not?
Like I was saying earlier, in college you learn beyond what is simply taught in the classroom. If you can go through a good chunk of your university experience without any battle-scars, be it on your psyche or your dreams, then I’m failing you. Yup. Didn’t think I could do that did you? No seriously, I could show you my PAWS right now; there’s an “F” right beside the subject “life”.
Before you think this is just a rejected student ranting about her catastrophe of a life, let me put it in perspective again. The recommendation letters that I needed to have with my application to med-school would have been better received if they had been written by science professors. Instead I asked my favorite English professors to write them. My interviewer said that my essay and appeal letter were the best she’d ever read.
However, I couldn’t justify my lower science marks, even though I was kicking ass at all my artsy classes. My entire attempted med-school career was trying to tell me that I didn’t want to go there. There were other things I thrived to do, but I was already three years in. I could taste my biology bachelor. Then life smacked me in the face and I had to rethink it all.
Is this how terrified we are of starting over? How is it that we are the most privileged people in the world and yet we can still feel trapped by life choices we made as freshmen?
The thing is, I could’ve fought for med-school. That’s what you do with your dreams; you fight for them. But the eleven-year-old me who once sat at her old computer typing up stories asked “Is it my turn yet?”
I’m an English major now, and I don’t need to hear the arts jokes to know that it isn’t always secure — nor will my mother be laying off on the comparisons anytime soon. It’s scary and I love it.
Don’t be afraid of changing your mind and giving something new that appeals to you a chance. If you think that you’ll be wasting all your previously invested time, think of how much of your life you’d be wasting by half-assing a career that you merely tolerate?
Your major should not be that bad relationship that you’re sticking out because you’re just too afraid to go out dating again. Flirt with every piece of information you get, go to second base with subjects that interest you and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get lucky.
Graphic: Cody Schumacher