Written by Thien Van Tran
Do you know what your plans are after graduation? It’s never too early to start thinking about where you want to end up. I know when you’re a freshman, it seems like there are endless possibilities and you have all the time in the world to figure out what’s right for you. You want to experiment, try one major for a while, and then ditch it and move on to the next one once you realize it ain’t for you. Well I’m here to tell you, DO IT. When I was a boy, my father told me, “Son, for you, the sky is the limit.” And just like that, my aspirations of being an astronaut were crushed. But I didn’t let that stop me. You don’t want to get stuck with a major you end up hating just because you were too stubborn to start over and try something you think you’ll like. That’s like finally finding the end of the rainbow, and then finding out the gold is at the other end.
It’s okay to not be good at something. It’s okay to make mistakes, to fail. I know most people will tell you to never make the same mistake twice and personally, I never make the same mistake twice. I usually do it at least five or six times, just to be sure. It’s definitely better to spend a few ambiguous weeks of soul-searching and find the right path than to spend four years stumbling around.
Did you know that your choice in majors can lead to higher or lower rates of unemployment in the future? You did? Well, did you know that median incomes could be influenced by your choices of studies? Oh yeah, you knew that too? Fine, well Tweety bird is a boy. Let that one sink in. For the rest of you who aren't wearing your smarty pants today, there is some mighty fine learnin’ to be done in this here article.
If you don’t like the classes you’re taking, talk to your advisor about it! No one can tell you what you should be studying, and no one knows what you like as well as you do. No matter how badly you want someone to notice for you, your advisor can’t read minds, so don’t keep your discontent to yourself. Me? I never want anyone to know what I’m thinking because if people could read my mind, I’d get punched in the face a lot. The sooner you realize that you’re unhappy, the better. You can start exploring other possibilities instead of trying to make the current situation work out.
Now some folks may try and put you down and say that some majors are better than others. You can read all about these types of people in this here blog post written by an especially attractive individual. But don’t let them get to you. Some people are sad or frustrated, so they try to bring those around them down too. But you know what? Some people just need a high five. To the face. WITH A CHAIR.
If you are completely lost when it comes to what you want to do in terms of a career or job or the direction of your life in general, then I recommend a career assessment test. At the Toppel Career Center, we offer many (three) types of assessments. One is the Strong Interest Inventory, and another is the Self Directed Search. They both help students discover interests, preferences, personality types, and other useful information in order to make educated decisions about careers and passions. The SDS is different in that you take the test on your own rather than online, and it is free. The STRONG test will set you back $10, but is definitely worth it. Imagine coming in tomorrow and taking the test and finding out in time for Christmas what you want to do with your life. What more can you wish for this Christmas? I started putting together my list early this year, but stopped midway since Santa wrote me a month ago telling me not to expect much this time around. The third assessment is the TypeFocus and it is free, online, and you can access it on the home page of your HireACane account.