After taking a two year hiatus from high school and working like a dog, I am pleased to announce that I’m set to graduate in June and have been accepted to college.
Congratulations, Katlyn. Although these days it seems like everyone is expected to go to college, a) not everyone should and b) just being accepted is an accomplishment in and of itself, so congrats on that.
That’s all well and great, and I’m excited that I’ll be the first of my siblings to attend college (I’m the youngest of five) but the problem is that I have little to no idea what I want to do for a career in the future. So what if I finish up my first few years in college still don’t know what I’ll be doing or want to do something completely different and have to start all over again?
One of the most common worries I get is from incoming college freshmen (freshwomen? is that a thing yet?) who have no idea what they want to do yet. And of those who are damn sure of what they want to do, probably half of them will change their mind in the end as well. So although that probably doesn’t make you feel any less uneasy, at least you should know that you are in the vast majority of young adults who have recently graduated from high school.
Basically, I’m worried that I’ll go and borrow fifteen or so thousand dollars to go to school right now and have nothing beneficial to show for it. Should I be going to college, and spending this money that I don’t have, before I even know what I want to do in life? – Katlyn
That’s a legit worry, Katlyn, and props to you for thinking ahead about possibly spending money recklessly (or at the very least, negligently).
Although you don’t yet know what you want to do, you should sit down and really think about what you’d like to do – because there is a difference. Sometimes people “want” to enter a certain career field because of many reasons other than it being their passion. Maybe they want to appease their parents, or make a lot of money, or even just go that route because they read that a certain career has a lot of job openings.
These are all legitimate things to consider, but you should really think about what you are passionate about. Because not only will that make you the happiest as a career, but you’ll also do much better at that sort of a job than any other. I know that’s cliche, but trust me when I say, from experience, that doing what you love to do makes life infinitely more enjoyable.
Once you’ve figured that out, ask yourself if there’s a path to that career that doesn’t involve borrowing $15,000 just to see if it’s really what you want to do. Even if your dream career will require a college degree, is there any way to work in the mail room, so too speak, while you get your feet wet, just to see if you will really enjoy that career? If so – give that a shot. If you love it, you can always work your way up the ladder as you attend school. It may be a little tougher, but if you really love it, you’ll find a way to make it work.
Also remember that the first couple of years of college can be a lot of general “stuff” that has nothing to do with anyone’s final career path. If you are sure you want a college degree, then don’t worry about not having a career picked out when you enter. Go ahead and get signed up and get some hours under your belt. I don’t know the exact statistics off hand, but MANY college students enter college having no idea what they want to do – other than knowing that they definitely want a college degree – and in the end they figure it out.
Anyone else want to chime in? Surely someone out there has been in a similar situation to Katlyn’s and can offer their first hand experiences!