I was never sure on what I wanted to major in when I got to college. I had an interest in many fields of study and I thought that if I could just set my mind to one thing I would finally find my place in the world. I thought that once I got to college that somehow, someway, my major would just fall into my lap and all would be well.
Maybe some well-meaning teacher would see me as a diamond in the rough and take me under their wing or I would stumble upon a skill I never knew I had. Then I fall in love with a field that would give me both financial security and a permission to live a creative life. As you can probably tell, I wanted my college career to be a skillfully written and a heartwarming coming of age story. It wasn’t long until I found out how unrealistic that mindset was.
The truth is that sometimes you aren’t immediately sure of who or what you want to be. Most of the time there is no personal mentor to help you or even a magical twist of fate that is going to tell you your true passion in life. I’m writing this to tell you, whoever you are, that it’s okay not to have it figured out. It’s okay to be stuck in the middle. I was always filled with shame and embarrassment because it seemed as if everyone had an idea of what they wanted out of their education and I felt clueless. It wasn’t until my second year that I realized that I wanted to go into graphic design.
There was no lightbulb moment, no poetic clarity – I just took the time to look at what was available to me, layout my interests, and analyze my strengths and weaknesses. While I did my core classes I read about fields that interested me on web articles, in books, and in hobbies I decided to pick up. I learned about who I was and what I loved to do. Now, you don’t need to do the same thing I did to figure out what it is you want to do for the rest of your life. You don’t even need to have the rest of your life figured out. I surely don’t. The point is that you must be patient and kind to yourself, because if you were to take the time to ask those who seem to have their lives together, you’d find out that there was no moment for them either. Some of them have even changed their major multiple times.
You don’t need to be ashamed for not knowing. Life is big and scary enough as it is, but the one thing you have control of is yourself. Know yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient. We all have a path and all our paths start at different times. You’ll get there, I know you will.
By NVC Student Kimberly Ferguson