As students, we are expected to know our paths and where we want our futures to lead. We take courses to prep specifically for those paths, and when we are finished, we find careers based on them. But what I have learned from the past few years of my life is that there is more to finding your path than just choosing your classes and major. Your path is about finding yourself, your values, your beliefs, and ultimately your calling and purpose in this life. No pressure, right?!
When choosing a path or major, some of us tend to be set in that one way. Our minds have a challenging time comprehending the thought of following a different path or taking a path less known. Sometimes we take the easy way out, choosing a major with fewer classes to graduate faster, only to end up hating the career and regretting not taking the time to discover what we truly want and need in this life. I have so many friends who made this mistake. I have one friend who chose a psychology major because she thought it was what she “needed” to do. She graduated, began student counseling with real patients, and ended up coming home crying every night because she felt stuck and imprisoned with this choice. She spent thousands of dollars on a degree that she was unsure of in the first place.
Some people are meant to go to college, and some aren’t meaning each person is different and needs to go on a journey of self-discovery before committing to a life plan. Even if people don’t realize this right away, they need to know that they can always change the course of their path. Our paths may seem set for us, but that’s never the case; we can create a new path at any time.
Right out of high school, I chose the easy way– a major that would be quick to earn a degree in–but I didn’t have the passion for it that I needed. I then became ill, and my entire life changed as I became immersed in the medical field as a patient. Because of this experience, I found my true passion for medicine and healing. I immediately knew that the drive and passion I had for the medical field would surpass the easy way of my old major. I felt it would be basically impossible for me, a patient, to take the pre-med track to become a doctor one day, but I knew my desire to help heal people who live experiences similar to the one I was living outweighed any of the academic challenges that I might face. The moment I switched to a different, more science-based major, I felt my soul burn with a fire that I had never felt before. I knew this was my calling.
I know not everyone experiences life-transforming events that reveal their true calling, so my advice for finding your true calling is to seek it out– seek out getting to know who you are, what you like, and what you dislike. Envision yourself ten years from now working and coming home after work. Think about what would make you feel fulfilled in this life and what won’t fulfill you. Changing your major because you change your mind, your passion, or your goal won’t hurt you; it will help you– it will help you become the best version of yourself because you will be staying true to your needs and desires. Speak to your family, your peers, your academic advisor. Ask questions and gather more information. Do the best you can to find out what sets your soul on fire in this life. You will thank yourself each day for following your dreams and passions. You will feel fulfilled and satisfied. You won’t need to work horrible jobs and come home to empty vices that fill you with regrets. Trust yourself if you feel you aren’t in the right major. There are no mistakes in finding your purpose. Each path is a learning experience to finding out who you are and who you want to become.