When you make that decision to go to college – or not to – you make a decision about your future, and the most infuriating question it seems every young person must answer, immediately after making this decision is; “what do you want to do?”
As someone who is both an inherent perfectionist and a creative writing major, this question destroys me. Of course, I wish I could come up with some amazing answer about exactly what my future will hold, but the ambiguity of my major tends to undermine exactly that. What will I do? Write short stories and live off dry crackers until I hopefully break into the world of authors and journalists? (Apparently, this is exactly what my future looks like!)
But something I’ve come to realize after completing only my Freshman year of college is that you don’t have to know the answer – of course you don’t. Almost everyone I know has changed his or her mind at least once about what they want to do with themselves and what they want to study – and what you study doesn’t even accurately predict what you will do or who you will become. In fact, I’ve started to be grateful for my own cluelessness. Without a plan, I’ve freed up my future and my present timetable to be filled with things that interest me – things that usually don’t go together.
It can be easy to become overwhelmed with this fearful expectation of having everything together, but let me, and every other adult you consult, assure you that you needn’t have anything together between the ages of 18 to 24, or beyond, if you wish. All you need is the will to try new things and the courage to back yourself and believe that no matter what, today will not predict tomorrow – it will simply shape it.
When you make that decision to go to college – or not to – you make a decision about your future. I said this earlier, and it’s true. However, it is time that we begin to understand ourselves and our culture better. Our culture seems to demand perfection, but we need not deliver. In fact – we shouldn’t be perfect. There’d be no point in anything if nothing new were learned.
You can and you will change your mind over and over and over again. You cannot know now where you will end up, or how you will get there.
Spare yourself the stress of formulating that perfect answer, and just go with it. Follow your passions as they evolve, and your own evolution will develop accordingly.