No one really knows what they’re doing – and that’s OK

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Student discusses mid-semester blues and the college major crisis 

Draven Jackson

Arts and Living Editor

It’s that time of year again: time for the existential crises and questioning every decision you’ve ever made.

Or at least time to wonder if you’re on the right path with your current major. 

It’s an understandable dilemma that almost everyone in their 20s experiences. As each semester passes, and you get one set of classes closer to graduation, you wonder if you’re doing the right thing. Is this what you want to spend your life doing? Can you even use this major to do what you actually want to?

Do you really know what you’re doing at all?

Probably not. But that’s OK because, honestly, no one does. We’re all just kind of winging it. 

Between me and my friends, there’s an existential crisis at least once a semester when someone thinks too long about the unknowable future and feels like they’re making the wrong decision. It’s a lot to ask a 19-year-old to plan the rest of their life. 

It’s a lot of money and a lot of time and it’s scary thinking you aren’t making the right decision. So, what do you do when the crises and questions start coming?

First, breathe. No matter what happens, your life isn’t set in stone. If you find that you’re unhappy with the decisions you made at 19, it’s never too late to change your mind and start over. 

Next, sit down and really take a minute to consider what you enjoy and what you could theoretically see yourself enjoying long term. If that’s art, biology,  music, just really think and see where your brain takes you. Talk it out with a friend if you need help bouncing around ideas. 

After that, try doing some research into what your interests can actually be used for in the real world. If you like English, maybe look into publication or law (and yes, you can do other things with an English degree than teach). There are unlimited resources online for finding a career in your field.

If you enjoy art and want to work in game design, look up the necessary qualifications and education that go into that. If you like math, what kinds of job can you use a degree in math for – no, really, I’m asking because I’m not sure myself. That’s OK, because I’m not studying math – but if that interests you, then research and go for it!

What’s stopping you?

Once you’ve got all that preliminary work out of the way, try talking to your adviser or a professional in the field and see what they say you need to do to get where you want to go. Utilize the tools at your command and the people there to help you. 

Maybe even go so far as to visit Troy’s Career Services or go to a career fair like the ones that occur on campus – maybe you’ll find yourself drawn to a future you never even considered before. 

College is tough, and sometimes it feels like one long ride of “what am I doing and why am I doing it?” And it’s OK if you feel that way; honestly its super normal and it’d be really weird if you didn’t feel that way at least once. 

As you feel the crises arise while you finish up another semester, remember: it’s OK not to know. Because as long as there’s a tomorrow, you’ve still got time to figure it out. 

And that’s pretty rad if you ask me.

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