There’s a worry among some students in general (even those at brick universities) that go along the lines of: ‘I still don’t know what I’m going to be doing after I graduate.’ Or, ‘Is this what I truly want to do with my life? Should I switch majors?’ This worry can then manifest into a type of isolation or shame that makes one believe that they are the only ones with these questions and self-doubt.
I can only speak for myself, but when I observe young people and how they feel about adulthood, I see and hear the constant pressure of “having your life together” by a certain age. Taking that into consideration when we are getting close to the age of adulthood to being already adults, I feel we create and build up a habit that makes us feel questionable of our lives.
We constantly compare our lives to those who we might not know that well and feel either inspired or discouraged, considering how one feels and their perspective. Even the lack of having someone be where we want to be, holding some similarity with our lives, our identity, our struggles or goals can also bring up one of the two emotions.
If you are the ones who feel like they lack hope, inspiration or direction, I hope I can relieve some tight and complicated emotions or thoughts (at least a little) by saying you are not alone. You taking the first step in being a student is already taking a step in the right direction, even if you still feel clueless of where this road will lead you. It’s okay that you’re still not where you imagined yourself to be at this moment, if you still don’t know what degree you exactly want to graduate in or what exactly you want to do after you graduate. A lot of people (probably more than you think) are still trying to figure it out.
What helped me become a bit more confident in my studies and what I have heard helped other people: go to conferences, listen to lectures or talks in person or online, take one or two free online courses on what it is you are curious in doing, see videos or talk to people who have the degree you want (or are curious for) and their advice on the subject, explore what jobs are not only related solely to your desired degree – but jobs that you can combine it with some other personal interest you might have, volunteer or join a movement related to the subject or motivation to your studies in general…
There might be so many other ways than the ones I’ve either tried or listed, which is completely subjective in what might aid you on the topic of your degree or a decision you get stuck in if you’re going through a rough patch with your studies. Feel free to explore whatever avenues that are available and accessible to you to help guide you or give you a friendly nod that you are heading towards the right direction.
Be a little daring, be patient and know that you are capable. Take the breaks you need when you truly need them. You’ll get to where you want to be one day, when everything in life feels like it’s smooth sailing… But take every day a day at a time.
Just remember you are not alone and we are all right here with you.