Don’t Major in Stress

Caterina Messina

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It can be daunting. It seems as though every decision leads to the next like a line of dominoes. One wrong turn can cause everything to crumble. Thinking about the future is something that we all have done throughout our entire lives. For some, thinking and planning for the future is an exciting experience because of all of the possibilities that can be discovered.  For others, it causes anxiety and becomes something to be completely ignored. Regardless of whether you love or hate thinking about the future, there is still one question in the back of most teenage brains: What if I change my mind? 

This thought is extremely powerful and is driven by self-doubt and the fear of the unknown. Now, some people do end up sticking to the dream they had when they were only five years old; however, for most young adults, this is not the case. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 80 percent of students in the U.S. end up changing their major at least once. Even though this question can be difficult to answer, it is perfectly fine to not answer it at all.

Deciding on a major can be difficult, especially for someone who has many different interests, or who simply does not know which professional path to take. Many times the major that you may choose as a college freshman could end up being the complete opposite from your ultimate career path. Dwelling too much on which major to choose can cause unnecessary stress and in most cases, is essentially pointless. This is because there are many liberal arts schools that are very flexible with switching majors. Going into a school as “undecided” or “undeclared” is also a possibility. One LHS alumni, Rosaria LoPresti, commented on this by sharing her experience: “Going into MSU as an undeclared freshman, I was struggling to find a major that suited me. At first, I thought about choosing business or marketing as a major, but after taking a gen-ed writing course, I realized that I had a passion for writing. This is when I decided to finally declare a major in journalism”  College students across the country experience variations of a similar story to Rosaria.

At 18 years old, it would be unfair to be expected to have everything all figured out. It is completely normal to not know what career path to take, especially since most young adults do not have much experience in any field. Rosaria offered advice for incoming freshmen: “Don’t be afraid to take classes that you wouldn’t typically take because that could end up being your future major or even career.” As Rosaria points out, the best way to figure out what career you belong in is to experience different fields while in college. In order to find the path that is best for you, you need to experience all of the possible options. This advice does not only work for those who go into college undecided. Even if a student enters knowing exactly the career they want to pursue, he/she can still experience other possible options that may open his/her eyes to a completely different path.

Although it is an intense subject, we should refrain from worrying too much on where we end up. We should focus more on the journey that will get us there. In all actuality, making future-based decisions is not at all like a line of dominoes. One wrong move will not cause your life to fall apart. Instead, it can be more accurately compared to riding a bike. If you fall off the bike you can just get up, brush yourself off and hop back on.