What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

How’s that for a title?! What exactly does one do when they don’t know what to do?! You’re probably like, yo, Megan, what in the Sam heck are you referring to and how can someone know what to do if they, uh…, don’t know what to do?

Allow me to explain… As all of my family and close friends know, I’m the expert in changing my major/career path on the daily (and you, the reader, probably know this by now too if you have been a follower of meganlouann for any extended amount of time). Indecisiveness is like… my thing in all areas of life, but especially in areas involving the rest of my life. Choosing a career is no small task. However, as I’m now more than halfway finished with my undergraduate career and have finally settled on what I actually want to do with my life (I promise this time, guys 😉 ), I feel like I do have some insight on what you should do when you are really struggling with what to do with your life (picking a college major, career, etc.).

Let’s start at the beginning: college. College is becoming more of the norm as the next step for high school seniors across the nation, but is going to college right after high school always the right decision? No, not always. If you are someone who really has absolutely no idea what you want out of a career, college might not be the best choice right away (or in some cases, at all). So many of my friends have wasted so much time and perhaps more importantly, money, on college not because they couldn’t handle the work load, but because they really hadn’t a clue on what to study. Now, this isn’t to say that taking all gen-eds your first year is a bad idea because you often need those classes to graduate, and it will give you more time to find direction in choosing a major, but more often than not, you’ll get to the end of your first year, you’ll be finished with gen-eds, and you still won’t have any idea what you want to do in life, let alone what you want to declare as a major. Going to school full time, and probably working at least a part-time job to help pay for said schooling will leave you with very little time to do some soul searching to figure out what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re good at, and what you need a little help on. Don’t be afraid to take a year after high school or take a break in between semesters to figure out what you want to do because if you still have no idea, you are, again, just wasting time and money. Now, if you have a general idea or direction, keep going. This leads me to my next point…

Time. This has applied for me, and I’m sure it has applied/will apply for many others. If you do have somewhat of a direction to follow, I think that continuing with your education and declaring a major in the ball-park field will be beneficial. If you have to slightly tweak your focus, it’s do-able, and you’ll be able to stay on track. Trust me, I’ve ‘tweaked my focus’ about four times now. It’s okay to take time to decide on a career as long as you’re studying in the general vicinity of the right subject matter. Also, for many, many fields, if you have a degree in something even remotely related to what you’re trying to do, you can get the job. So don’t stress, study what you love, and it will all fall together in time. Now, I do have one final point, and I think it’s perhaps the most important.

Trust. Trust who? Trust yourself. Not everyone will fall in to this category, but deep down, I think this is the root to many struggling college students who are unsure if they are on the right path. College is hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re an astrophysics, social work, or communications major. College is hard, and there will be many moments where you question if you can do it. If you’ve never asked yourself this, then consider yourself lucky. I changed my major and career path so many times because I thought I couldn’t do this or that. ‘I’m too much of a hypochondriac to be a nurse’, ‘I don’t think I could handle the stress of being a high school teacher’, ‘I don’t want to be bored 10 years from now being an audiologist’, ‘I can’t commit to school long enough to go to medical school’, and the list goes on and on. While there may be some truth to these statements, and while they were crucial points to fine-tuning my choice, I had to learn to trust myself and not be afraid of the stipulations of my choice, no matter the choice, because every career and every major has its downsides. You just have to trust yourself and find the thing that’s worth all of the crap.

I’m so glad that I’ve found my ‘crap-worthy’ career, and I can not wait until the day I get to put in to practice everything that I’m learning and everything I’ll learn in the future. In the meantime, I’ll be busting my a** trying to make it through organic chemistry because while ochem is hard (like really hard, people), I have to trust myself enough to know that I can and will do it because it’s worth it.

I hope this post was somewhat helpful, and if you know a struggling college student or high school student facing some big decisions, please refer them to this article and my blog. Also, feel free to contact me by visiting my ‘contact’ page. Thanks for reading!

Megan LouAnn


2 thoughts on “What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

  1. frankwmcarr says:

    Great post, Megan! It’s important to take college/career plans one day, one step at a time. I’m at community college now (taking a Psych gen-ed course), but my dream major is Biology (just like you!), and I hope to transfer to a U to get the bachelor’s. For such a major, it might lead to grad school later on, if I decide to pursue real “research” positions in biology. Yet there are other opportunities, such as lab work, HS teaching, etc. So again, it should be taken one step at a time.

    And by the way, what is your desired career? (Apparently it seems like medicine).

    Whatever you do, good luck and God bless!

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