I was lucky in high school. Most of my peers had no clue what they wanted to study in college or what careers they dreamt of having. I knew from the time I was in my sophomore year that I wanted to create online content; whether that consisted of news or videos or a combination of both, I knew that’s what I wanted. I was so certain of this that when it came time to declare a major before my freshman year began I didn’t have to think twice when I wrote “Journalism” on that sheet of paper. Now, I’ve been taking journalism classes for barely a full school year, and the inevitable changing of career goals has affected me as well. Every adult in my life told me it would happen at some point, that I’d either change my major or realize I want a different career path entirely, and I never believed them. Yet, now I think they probably knew what they were talking about. 

While I’m not changing my major, I have decided to pursue a very different career than what I originally decided on all those years ago. The influence to change actually occurred on my second day of classes my first semester of college. Crazy, right? You’re in college for two days and you begin to second guess everything. One of my professors shared her changing career path that she followed throughout her adult life, and I realized I wanted to do what she had done. After that first day, I called my mom and told her something I’m sure I haven’t told her enough: “You were right.” She told me for years growing up that I would make an “amazing lawyer,” and I never thought of that as something I would want. Whenever my boyfriend and I have the occasional argument, he always says “Rileigh, you’re too good at this” or “You’re starting to sound like a lawyer.”  So, I guess now I’m saying that everyone else was right and I was wrong. Not only did I end up changing what I want to do with my life, I changed it to a career that nearly everyone in my life has suggested to me at one time or another. 

 So, I’m going to law school after college, for now anyways, and honestly, I can’t wait. Once I made the realization that I wanted to change my goals, I became more excited and passionate about them than I had ever been before. Maybe I’ll change those goals again before I graduate, or maybe I’ll change them 20 more times. But now I know that changing your dreams isn’t as scary as I thought it was, and it can sometimes give you that extra motivation you need to reach them. 

Rileigh Smirl can be contacted at [email protected]