Everyone has some sort of plan for the future. We all have things we love and passions we want to pursue, and we often do that by choosing a major that will lead to our future career path. We learn everything we can, do countless hours’ worth of research and decide the best possible path for us to take. We plan, plan and plan some more. So what do you do when that plan falls apart? How do you handle that moment when you realize that what you’re pursuing really isn’t your passion? What do you do when everything you’ve planned for isn’t what you want anymore?
All through high school I was determined that I was going to be a Physician’s Assistant. I was going to concentrate on psychiatry and help people with mental illnesses. I wanted to make a difference and make people’s lives better. However, after my first semester as a psychology major, I realized this just wasn’t the path for me. I wanted to help people, but just not like this. My passions were different and I was different. I just didn’t love my major anymore.
I became confused and very anxious about my future. I didn’t feel that I was passionate about anything else and I didn’t lean towards a particular career field as intensely as I did towards psychiatry. I did more and more research trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life.
Around this time, I began to realize how much I missed my English classes. When I was growing up, books were my best friends. My family moved around quite a bit in the military and I had a hard time making and keeping friends. However, books were always there. They could take me to a different world in an instant.
I fell in love with foreign lands, fictional characters and words. As I grew older, I began to appreciate it even more. The way my favorite authors could string together letters, words, sentences and paragraphs into beautiful and complex novels amazed me. I fell in love with literature.
As my classes progressed, I fell in love with writing. I discovered that I had a passion for writing, and even grammar and editing. As I spent time out of my English classes that first semester, I dearly missed it. I missed studying and discussing literature. I missed peer editing and research papers. I missed it all. It was when I realized how much I missed literature that I realized that I had found my passion and it had been there all along. The semester after that, I decided I wanted to focus more on journalism, and made a small change to Mass Communications, with my minor in English. I fall in love with my major more and more every day.
Changing your major is difficult. Luckily I realized that I needed to change early on, but for some, the change means a longer time in school. It means sacrificing more time and money. But it is worth it in the end. Much like Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” you may have found yourself in front of two paths. One is your current plan: it may be safe and devoid of passion. This path could be what someone else wants from you and have been traveling on it for so long that it seems impossible to change. The other is your passion: it may be much more difficult and seem crazy. This path takes courage and the desire to change and find yourself. It is much less traveled, but it “[will make] all the difference.” This path will bring you happiness and allows you to pursue what you love.
Being able to wake up in the morning and be excited to attend your classes and learn more is priceless. Actually looking forward to and enjoying homework seemed impossible, but it’s my life now. It almost doesn’t even seem like homework when you love every second of it. Even when my grades aren’t where I want them to be, I never feel the want to give up because I love my major more than I hate failure. I have the faith and desire I need to work harder to get where I want to be. I am more confident in my abilities and myself overall. I am happy to answer the question, “So, what’s your major?” because I don’t feel any uncertainty about it.
I want to grow, become better and learn as much as I possibly can, and my major is the exact place I need to be in order to do that. Through my major I find more of myself, my purpose and my future every day.
So if you’re afraid to take that much needed jump, just consider everything that can come from it. Pursuing your passion is an incredible thing and will bring you tons of happiness. It is worth all of the sacrifice you have to make to get there. If you’re looking for that final push, then here it is. Here is me telling you when you go for your dreams, you’ll never be disappointed. It’ll be difficult, but it’ll be very worth it.