Hey 2020 high school grads! Congrats on your achievement!
I am so sorry Covid-19 changed your senior year and I am so sorry that your freshman year of college won't be normal either.
But, you will get through it and it will get better.
So, while you're navigating this strange time, just remember one thing:
It is OK to change paths in college.
You're going to go into college with the thought that you have to know what your career will be or that you at least have to figure it out by the end of the year.
Truth is, you don't have to and you probably won't.
So if you're just starting college, or a few semesters in, where ever you are in life..buckle up...
Let me tell you about the roller coaster that is my college years.
I started my freshman year undecided with an undeclared major. I was still living at home, commuting to college, and had too many interests to pick from. I liked genetic studies, I liked biology and zoology, I liked ultrasound. I started a sign language course and liked that.
By the second semester, I had changed my major to American Sign Language with the intent to become a translator. Sounds cool, right? It was, but I had little confidence, and little motivation to do what I need to do to achieve this, and truthfully, I wasn't passionate about it.
I also took a psychology course and thought, this would be an interesting field. Again, I wanted the easy way out, so I ended up in X-ray School by the end of my freshman year. (We'll come back to the psychology).
X-ray school is a two-year program where you train to become a radiologic technologist and
earn an associates degree. It consisted of classes and clinicals, where you learned hands on experience in the field.
This program really changed my life. I become confident and skilled. I become a professional and an extrovert. I learned a lot and grew a lot during this period of time.
Following, X-ray school, I knew I wanted (maybe more felt that I needed) a bachelors degree. I started pursuing a business administration degree with the intent of becoming an applications specialist, someone who trains techs on new equipment when it is installed in the hospitals. Hmm...maybe a sign that x-ray also wasn't for me.
Business school was boring af and due to a mental breakdown and mental illness, I was now seeing a therapist. Seeing how therapy changed (and saved) my life, I changed my major, one more time (and the last time, may I add) to psychology. I fell in love with the study of the mind, the classes I was taking, and I ultimately graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
I'm currently in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program (after switching from school counseling- a story for another time) and loving it!
So, you're probably thinking, wow Alexis, took you long enough to make up your mind. Yeah, I felt that way too.
But, to give a little perspective. I graduated x-ray school at 20 and graduated with my BA in Psychology at 23. Looking back now, that's pretty young and with all the things I was going through and knowing the person I was then, I realize it is OK for me to have been wishy-washy, to not have it all figured out, and to take a while to get to a final point.
The truth is, I'm still changing every day. I'm still growing and discovering new loves and interests and that's OK too.
We are human and we are made to evolve.
Life is boring if we just stay in the same place the whole way.
So, here's my advice to you.
Take your time, explore, grow, and change. Give yourself grace if you aren't meeting your goals by the time you thought you would, and go out and find the thing that brings you the most joy.
If you're confused about a future career, I highly recommend taking the O*NET Interest Profiler. It is based on Holland's Theory of Six Personality Types and a highly accurate predictor of career interests. Click here to take that profiler.
photo credit: wix