The Freshman Experience: Undeclared and Unsure

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test-prep-use-this-one.jpgI have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. And yes, I know there are others in the same boat. I know I don’t have to declare a major for another year, and I know there’s time. I’ve heard it all. But it doesn’t leave me any less nervous.

In some ways, I like the unclear path. I am taking classes because they sound interesting, not because they will help me complete a major. I am learning just because I want to, and my grades are just because I want to try my best, not because I know I am looking for a certain grad school or want to impress future employees. For all I know, I could be studying subjects which will be completely irrelevant to my future. So I have no pressure.

Except, I still have pressure. In some ways, it’s even more than I had in high school. Sure, it’s not like I know I have to get a certain GPA and do certain activities to get into college. But now that I’m here, I can’t believe there’s no more plan. I am the kind of person who plans out her entire future—not minute-by-minute or a 10-year-plan, more like a general idea of what’s to come– but now I have no concept of past college. All my life, I knew I was going to go to graduate high school and go to college. Now I’m here, and I can check that off the list.

What’s next? Grad school? An internship? A job? All I’ve ever done is be a student. I am good at that; I can study, write essays and take tests. I envy my friends who know what they want to be. One studies political science, so she wants to go into politics. One has a knack for design and math, and he’s planning on being an engineer.

I just like learning Spanish. But no, I don’t want to be a teacher, and right now I don’t think translating sounds that wonderful. I like writing, but I’m not betting on that being a life-long career. In fact, I like most of the subjects I learn, but none link directly to a career which catches my eye.

So here I am, one semester down, seven to go. And then what? Well, I guess I’ll figure that out soon, hopefully. But for now, I’ll settle for an undeclared student with no plans whatsoever except one part of her 10-year-plan: start planning one.

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