To those uncertain about their path:
January 27, 2020
Everyone seems to have their lives figured out. So many people have clear-cut visions of becoming surgeons, lawyers or pharmacists. They all follow the same road: Get good grades, get a good test score, get admitted into a top grad school and settle down into their designated trade.
It’s lonely when it seems you are the only one that has fallen behind the rest of the pack.
As far back as I can recall, I have been stuck in what feels like a state of superposition. I am a sophomore, nearly halfway through my college days. By this point, previously unsure students have begun to figure out their calling. As for me, what I want to do for the rest of my life is a Schrödinger paradox: I am completely uncertain whether the cat inside the box is dead or alive—the cat, of course, being my future career.
I came into college as an undeclared freshman, originally hoping to transfer into a major that would bring an abundance of job opportunities in the future. With this logic in mind, I looked into a variety of different majors, mostly within STEM. I was not attracted to any of them, really. As someone who is heavily right-brained, I became distraught and discouraged.
I say I am uncertain, but at the same time, I know exactly what kind of career I want. I picture my future workplace as one that is free and welcomes creativity and innovation. Unfortunately, the outlook on the future seems to be cold and hostile to those who aspire to work in areas other than business or STEM.
At the end of my freshman year, I chose to declare a major in communications due to its flexibility and employability. From what I’ve gathered here so far at college, communication is perceived to be the blow-off major for those who prefer not to recall their college days. Whenever questioned about my major, I usually get the same response: “What are you going to do with that?” Immediately I answer with a lie, saying I want to go into business. The truth is, I have no clue.
No—I don’t know what is inside the box, and that uncertainty is something I cannot instantly get rid of. But am I doing something about it to reduce my anxiety about the future? Yes. In the short time I have in college, I have been busy creating myself. And by creating myself, I mean doing what I love. I have been writing, igniting change within my community, been politically active and working on multiple projects and campaigns. It may sound exhausting, but I genuinely believe the things I do will eventually bring me to where I want to be.
For other idealists, don’t fear. Continue to grab ahold of opportunities as they arise. Eventually, the trees and overgrowth on your path will come to a clearing, and you will be exactly where you want to be. When that beautiful meadow comes into view, it won’t matter if the cat is dead or not.
Meghan is a sophomore in LAS.