By Courtney Fowler, Staff Reporter
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
It seems simple. When I was five, this was the easiest question in the world. I wanted to be a princess. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. With frilly dresses, my mom’s high heels, and a slightly large tiara falling off my head, I told everyone I saw that being a princess was the best thing in the world.
But now, this daunting question has been looming over my head, as I have come to the unfortunate realization that a princess is not the easiest of occupations (unless I move to Orlando and try to take Cinderella’s job, that is).
For some, it really is easy. A friend of mine wanted to be a doctor since he was six years old. Today, he’s studying biology and pre-med at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He’s had two internships with the hospital there and works for a research lab studying the brain.
So why is it so easy for him? I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. Since high school, I felt pressure to pick the right school and have my future completely laid out. I thought I had it all under control, until I promptly changed my major a total of six times. From being a math major for a day (literally one day!) to surrendering to claiming undecided, I thought I had lost my future.
What I didn’t know is that what you do in college does not dictate your life. I know a woman who has a degree in anthropology but works in college admissions at UMO. Some of the most successful people in the world did not even attend college. Plus, who says you can’t go back and earn a second degree if you change your mind?
To me, the meaning of college has changed. It is no longer about pressuring myself to know exactly what graduate school I’d like to attend. I do not stress myself out anymore, thinking I’m the only college student who does have a career in mind. I now look at college differently, as a wonderful experience to meet new friends, gain life skills and knowledge, be able to be part of a team, but most importantly as a chance to find myself.
I have finally accepted that everything happens for a reason. It’s okay to not know exactly what your future has in store. It’s okay to change your mind, transfer schools, and still have absolutely no idea if you made the right decision. But more than anything it’s okay to not know what you want to be when you grow up.