A Stressful Choice Made Easy

On average, adults change their career 4 to 7 times throughout their working career. And a lot of those people went to college for a degree that they no longer use. So many high school students are told to go to college, get a degree in a field they think they’ll enjoy, and get a job. Unfortunately, not everybody ends up loving the career they decided on. And what then? Not everybody can go back to school for another couple of years because they found what their true passion is. Some of us need to make these next 4 or 5 years really count. So how are college students expected to know how much they’ll enjoy a field without being able to have any first-hand experience in the job field?

Nobody wants to be unhappy. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks to themselves, “What can I do to be unhappy today?”

It just doesn’t happen.

People come to college to find out what makes them happy, career wise, and then take the necessary steps to achieve their goals. Whether that be a degree, learning a trade or even starting a business, an extended education allows for a simpler path to a fulfilling career.

But how are students supposed to make life decisions while being so young? I’ve taken enough Psychology to know that our brains aren’t fully developed until pretty much after college. Which explains all the partying and ingenious ideas I’ve seen so many freshmen come up with even in the short 3 months I’ve been here.

And honestly I’m feeling this overwhelming sense that I might have been wrong about what I thought was my dream job. The whole reasoning behind coming to college for me was to get a degree in mathematics and teaching to become a high school teacher, but after looking into median salary, how long I’m going to have to be in college, and the thoughts and feelings of my family and fellow peers, I don’t know if that’s the right path for me.

So now what?

Now that it’s seems I’m in the stage that almost all college students face. Picking a major. And what a huge decision that is. This could decide the rest of my life in one choice. And how am I supposed to know what I feel passion for? Most of my jobs and volunteering up to this point has involved retail positions and school volunteer work. None of which has anything to do with what I believe to be my passions. But should we choose our careers off of our passions or from what we think other people want?

Statistically, people who are unhappy with their work life have a harder time enjoying time spent away from work because it takes up so much of your time. I mean on average, a working person is at work 40 hours a week. And depending on where the job is, that doesn’t even include commute time. So why spend so much time doing something that isn’t even a little bit enjoyable?

A lot of people justify their decision by thinking if the money is good then they will be happy. But as the age old quote goes, “money can’t buy happiness”. And that stays true even today. The money might be good at first, and usually right out of college the only thing you’re thinking about is money, but down the road is when people start to regret these decisions. They think back onto their lives and wished they had followed that dream that maybe their family had disapproved of.

So what is the right decision? As college students should we go for the paycheck or can we follow our dreams?

I would never want to tell somebody to be unhappy in their career and I know that nobody wants to be, so why not go for your passionate career? Why let other people’s opinions stand in your way? It’s time that college students take control of their degree and truly follow their own passions and not the passions of those around them.