My oldest son will be a junior in high school this upcoming August, so we will be spending a lot of time evaluating different colleges. While talking to my son about the entire college application process, it made me think back to my high school years and getting ready for college.
My preparation for college back in 1985 was pretty simple. I took the ACT, filled out some applications and financial aid forms, and ended up going to Michigan State without even visiting the campus. My goal was to become a high school math teacher and a volleyball coach. Mainly because, I was 17, I liked math, and I liked playing volleyball. Pretty reasonable, right?
Well, two years into my endeavor, I realized I didn’t want to be around teenagers the rest of my life, and I was losing my passion for math. So, I applied to the business school and ended up getting my degree in Finance. Unfortunately, all of my optional credits were used on math instead of other areas that I may have also had an interest in pursuing. (So to all you students out there, focus on taking prerequisites those first 2 years instead of immersing yourself entirely in your major.)
I am not the only person that changed their major midway through college. Actually, many of the people I went to school with did the same thing. It makes me wonder if going to college right out of high school is optimal. Really, how many people know what they want to do with the rest of their life when they are 18 years old? However, I don’t know that a gap year will suddenly make you realize what you want to do either. I don’t think there is an easy answer.
So, if you did end up in the wrong field based on your college choices, or if maybe you are working for the wrong employer, start making a plan to make a change. Do you have a dream job? If so, spend your spare time pursuing that dream, be it through classes, certification, whatever. Don’t just sit there and be miserable. Expand your horizons a little bit and see what is really possible. Network as much as you can. Be open to new possibilities – don’t just focus on reasons why you shouldn’t pursue other options. This economy has to turn around sooner or later (I hope), so make sure you are ready for when it does.
Did you change your major during college? Do you regret the degree program you chose? Or, are you in your dream job and the envy of all around you?