Every college student feels lost at some point in their college career. All students experience floundering and moments of anxiety for their future. These moments have become more frequent than ever for current students.
Expressing the difficulty of “finding yourself” in college may seem whiny or ungrateful, but it’s not. Discussing such issues reassures us we’re not alone in this whirlwind called young adulthood.
Society tells us to wake up one day during our eighteenth year, apply to colleges and choose what we want to do for their rest of our lives. It’s incredibly unfair when during this stage of life, as so many older people like to remind us, we don’t really know anything about life.
Sometimes, it can feel like no matter how much we accomplish, we still have so much more to do. To succeed means constant work, never allowing ourselves to slow down or take care of ourselves. It means never getting to enjoy the good things in your life while they’re there, because you must plan for the future good things.
Struggling is normal, unfortunately.
It’s also a result of our being thrown into deep end of adulthood without floaties. Society forces us to choose what we do for the rest of our lives before we’ve even learned to properly navigate life.
Not to discount the intelligence of youth entering college, but a decision made at 18 can hardly account for the growth they will experience throughout the remainder of their lives.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly one-third of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs changed their majors at least once. One in 10 of those students changed their major more than once.
It’s great that we have the option to change majors, although I imagine that it’d be a lawsuit if we didn’t. However, if you don’t do it within the first two years of your college career, because of the intricacies of each degree path, graduating in the recommended four years can be difficult.
Many fail to appreciate the value of general education requirements, because they are seen as less important. These courses force us to experience an English class that has no correlation with our major, a math class that’s more fun than it seems, or even a biology class about plants that stimulates the mind.
General education courses assist us in learning what type of professions we’d like to pursue in our lives. They can even help to add an element that we hadn’t previously considered.
As college students, we experience many struggles in and outside of academics. The struggle of feeling lost on the path to our future careers is one of them. To question who you are and who you want to be is normal and more common than many assume.
It may not feel like it, but we do still have time. No one gets to decide when we must have everything figured out but us. We are the creators of our journeys, and it’s okay to stumble a little on the way.
Maya Stevenson is a 19-year-old English and economics sophomore from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.