When we graduate high school, the world becomes our oyster. We have the potential to do any and everything we set our minds to. Unfortunately, barely being an adult and having to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life comes easy to some and harder to others.
I was denied from my dream program and couldn’t afford to attend my dream school. I ended up attending a university that had absolutely nothing that interested me just to say I got a degree. Picking a degree that I am stuck with for the rest of my life is absolutely nerve wracking and I feel like I made the wrong decision.
It seemed right at the time. I was doing something that most people in my family had never done, which was just going to college. I was taking a different path in hopes that it would lead to financial security. While I do have regrets on my major, I do not have regrets of attending college. If you know college is the right path for you, here are some ways to help you from making the same mistakes I did and pick the right major for you.
Find what you are passionate about
Most people know what they are passionate about before they enter college, and others don’t. I was passionate about music and education, so my goal was to become a music teacher. To this day I still find that I am extremely passionate about education. In my spare time, I volunteer for a program called Junior Achievement which aims to give financial literacy to children of all ages.
If you don’t know what you are passionate about, volunteer. Really. Volunteering is a way to break into a field without actually having a full-time commitment. You can volunteer at hospitals, animal shelters, schools, and various organizations. Get a general idea of what you like to do. Take a year off between High School and College, and get a genuine idea of what you love to do, then run with it.
Don’t let money stand in your way
Of course, money will be an obstacle. Maybe you got into a top school, then realized you couldn’t afford it. Going to the best school doesn’t mean everything. How well you do in your classes does. So even if you aren’t attending your dream school, you can still achieve a quality education and make your other dreams happen.
Maybe you can’t even afford a local community college. Check into the various scholarships and loans they offer to their students. Work part time to make it through. There are tons of organizations that offer scholarships based on certain traits versus academic achievement. I can promise there will be a scholarship to fit you if you are willing to look hard enough.
Don’t let a decline affect you
Not getting into the school (or program) of your dreams can be absolutely heartbreaking. You believe that you will never be able to make it into another program, and it is game over. You feel crushed that your dreams will never come true. This is absolutely false. Just because you were denied for one program, doesn’t mean you won’t get into another. Stay positive, keep applying.
Start small if you have to
A lot of community colleges offer direct transfers into major Universities once you obtain your A.A. Keep your options open, there are plenty of ways to succeed in this world. No one is trying to hold you back. The world is an open book that’s filled with learning opportunities, if you ever find yourself in a rut, just remember that you’ll be sure to find a path that fits you, whether it’s obtaining degrees like a master of education or backpacking across continents learning about different cultures, you just have to take the plunge.
I am almost done with my Bachelor’s degree and have started looking into Master’s programs. I will not allow myself to make the same mistake twice. I have discovered a new path for my career and plan on taking it. So here is to making good decisions, and no more regrets, cheers! Make your college experience a pleasurable experience by doing what you love and learning about what you want.
Featured image via collegeweekly.