Hi, my name is Sarah and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing in college/life! 🙂
I’m assuming if you’re reading this article that you, A) either just had a mental break down and googled people who don’t have their shit together to make yourself feel better, or B) were just scrolling through Facebook or Twitter and saw this article and said to yourself, “Hey! That’s relatable!”
Either way, I’m here to tell you, it’s okay to not have your shit together.
One of the biggest mistakes I ever made, was listening to everyone in high school saying, “Don’t go into college undeclared! Pick something you think you’ll like!”
Don’t listen to them.
One of the main reasons I got so lost in my first couple years of college is because of the pressure from society that you need to A) pick a major that earns money and B) know exactly what you want to do so you can graduate in four years. Most parents put pressure on their children due to the cost of money. Who wants to be in college and spend more money and time than they have to right? (a lot actually). But the truth is, it’s ok to not know what you want to do in life. It’s ok for your four-year plan you’ve dreamed of since childhood to not work out. It’s ok if you just changed your major for the fifth time. Because I promise, it’s going to be ok.
I’m a junior in college and I just figured out what I want to do for a major. The anxious period I spent in college thinking about the pros and cons of each major I was looking into, led me to switch back and forth between majors. It was not a fun and happy time for me. I felt lost. I felt like I was doing everything wrong. I felt like I was behind by not automatically knowing what I wanted to do after, something my fellow college friends seemed to know. I felt like I wasn’t understanding something that everyone else did, and in consequence, was obstructing me from my glowing path of success and knowledge.
On top of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I also had no idea what I was doing romantically. Fuck boy after fuck boy after fuck boy, it seemed like an endless cycle of discouragement. Every time I fell for another guy and things were going tolerable, something happened and I was back to square one, sitting on my couch eating Ben and Jerry’s at 2 AM watching reruns of Meg Ryan movies. It sucked. What was I doing wrong? Why weren’t relationships working out? These were the questions that kept me up, allowing my mind to ruminate about life, college and how everything should work out.
One afternoon, after a particularly stressful day, I threw my head into my arms and laid on a library table after learning the not so ideal test grade I had received for an English exam, after also learning about a job rejection, and a looming 150 question biology exam quickly approaching. I took a deep breath and decided to look around the library, and I saw the same expression of frustration and exhaustion in almost half of students.
So I started a conversation with fellow friends. I asked why they were in the major they were, how they felt they were doing in college, if they thought of themselves as “on schedule” and lastly if they thought they had their shit together.
An overwhelming, fuck no.
Most friends I asked why they were earning the degree they were, couldn’t tell me a legitimate reason why other than because of money. Almost all, if not every single one, responded to the question if they had their shit together with, no.
And that made me feel better.
I know a very close friend who’s going on their sixth year at college because they changed their major the semester before their senior year. They realized they would rather earn a degree in something they love than do something they hate. And that’s ok.
I know a friend who is secretly taking art classes because their parents forbade them from choosing a major other than what they wanted. And that’s ok
I know a friend who changes they’re major almost every four months. And that’s ok.
I know people who even after graduation, still have no idea what they’re doing. And that’s ok.
The truth is, you’re not supposed to have everything figured out at age 22. College is a time of learning not just mentally, but emotionally, spiritually and learning how to better YOURSELF for both you and your future. Because if you don’t have yourself figured out if you don’t know who you are as a person, or how to love yourself, then how is someone else suppose to know?
Life is a beautiful and short thing. I know the future is scary, and you worry if you can earn enough to support yourself or achieve your dreams, but your level of success or quality of life is not defined by the degree you carry with you or your romantic life. Your legacy is not a piece of paper, so stop letting yourself think it is.
You are a piece of clay and life is the environment you’ve been placed in. One moment you can be a square, and the next, you can a circle. And just when you think you’ve smoothed out all your imperfections, a dent new shape can come along.
In life, you’re constantly changing. You are not molded on how much you earn, what degree you receive or what someone says about you.
You are molded through your attitude and determination when new opportunities or challenges present themselves. You are molded through the people you meet and the insight you can observe from a random act of kindness.
You are shaped into the person you want to become through listening, respecting and understanding your fellow peers, family, and professors.
We often so craving the sapid satisfaction of presenting ourselves to society as having everything figured out, leading us lost souls to think we’re doing something wrong. But I’m here to call out the bullshit. Do not be swooned with the ostensible truth of knowing the map of your life, because the truth is, no one knows what they’re doing, they only know what they’ve been through.
So stop worrying, everything will be ok. The only thing you need to be successful in life is not a correct degree, it’s determination.
And just to top it off, if this article didn’t help ease any anxiety, here’s young Leo DiCaprio telling you the gist of this article.