In high school college is viewed as this new, exciting place where you’ll have unlimited freedom to explore yourself and your options. Most high school graduates have some insight on what they want to do in the future but many of them will have changed their major at least three times because they just can’t make up their minds.
No one tells you about the pressure that comes along with being a college student and choosing a major is one of the largest pressures students may feel. As someone who has been told multiple times that my major isn’t a real career, I feel the stress of not having a “good enough major.”
Bottom line, it’s your future. Why waste your time trying to be a psychologist or nurse like your older siblings just to make your parents happy? Why not take this time to really figure yourself out? It’s okay to change your mind. If you’re having trouble picking a major, you’re not a failure. You’re just exploring your options.
Walk around campus and you will see hundreds of students that look drained and just downright depressed. Don’t believe me? Take a good, hard look at your peers on the way to class tomorrow. Especially with midterms just around the corner, stress is at an all time high.
There isn’t enough time in the day to fully understand every detail in every single class. If you don’t ace your midterm after studying for days, how can you not feel like a failure? You studied for days. You should’ve been able to pass that midterm in your sleep. All it takes is 1 bad grade to create a tidal wave of self-doubt.
College students are supposed to be getting it together and figuring out our futures. Ask any college student about their plans are after graduation and you’ll get the response “I don’t know” more than an actual plan.
Parents and family members are also a great source of stress for college students. In my case, only my dad went to college. My mom doesn’t understand the difficulty of classes outside my major. She could not grasp why I got a C in Music in Society and made sure to let me know she was disappointed. What she and a lot of my family members fail to understand is how demanding each and every class really is, regardless of the nature of the course.
Then there’s that friend that puts no effort into studying, papers and etc. when you have a mental breakdown over a having a test and a paper due on the same day. It doesn’t seem fair that you have to break your back to get a B and these friends do everything the night before and then pass with flying colors. It’s discouraging because it seems to come so naturally to them, when you struggle with the simplest task.
So after reading all of these negative situations, here is what I want you to take away from this. Yes, college sucks a lot and it’s going to be hard 90 percent of the time, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s not graduation. It’s not that infamous piece of paper you get as you cross the stage. The light at the end of the tunnel is you.
You are the only person that can get you through the hard time, through all of the all-nighters, mental breakdowns and struggle. It’s so easy to swallow yourself up in self-doubt, but there are ways to bring you back to life.
Rely on the relationships you make. Your friends you make in college will be forever and even considered family. Professors become a parental figure when you’re away from home. This university will become a second home.
You’ll learn your strengths and weaknesses, and you will embrace them. So learn and fail, and fail some more. Failing is a part of life that will show you your inner strength. College is the time to push the boundaries and explore the world around you. Take a spontaneous trip. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t let a bad grade or a hard class define you. Show society that you will not quit pursuing what you love just because it is not a “real major.”