It’s OK to go into college not knowing what you want to do. It’s OK to declare yourself as undecided.
This is something I wish I knew before coming into college. From a very early age, the public school system forced the idea that I had to know what I wanted to do when I grew up.
In middle school, I was forced to decide if I wanted to take “high school” style classes that would put me on track to go to college or take normal classes and have a more difficult time preparing for college.
I had to make this monumental decision at the age of 11 when instead I should be worried about collecting silly bands and the world ending for the first time. The life-changing decisions didn’t stop there.
My high school class, Class of 2018, was the first year the Texas public school system introduced House Bill 5 and what are know as endorsements to graduate. Endorsements are tracks that students must follow and complete their elective courses in.
House Bill 5 mandates that every student picks one of the following endorsements: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Arts and Humanities, Multidisciplinary, Business and Industry and Public Service.
Of course, I was dead set on majoring in engineering when I got to high school as I had spent all of middle school going to an engineering camp. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I realized that I didn’t have a passion for engineering and was only going to major in it for the money.
My senior year, I changed what I was going to major in to kinesiology because my cousin majored in it. I loved being an athletic trainer, and of course, the money was a big motivator again.
Throughout high school, I took elective classes in science, math, business and many others. When I graduated, I graduated with my high school diploma with an emphasis on STEM and Arts and Humanities.
I remember in high school the students would rank each of the endorsements with multidisciplinary being seen as the worst to be in because it meant that you didn’t know what you wanted to do in life. I have to admit that I was one of those people who thought I was better than those who decided to go down that track.
Now, my opinion has changed. It’s extremely OK to go into college undecided, and I would recommend it to incoming students who aren’t sure if they are majoring in something they love. I went into college as a kinesiology major but switched three times.
I went from kinesiology to RHIM to university studies. For those who don’t know, university studies is where a student can major in their fields that don’t relate to each other and doesn’t technically graduate within any of those majors.
It is designed to help students test the waters before deciding on what to major in. This is where I found a passion for journalism and for law and looking back on it, I wish I came into college as undecided.
Kinesiology and journalism are in two completely different fields, and coming into college, I wish I had the chance to test out both fields before I spent two years in kinesiology and decided to switch, adding another year to my degree.
I came into college with the mindset of going into the medical field because that was what middle school and high school prepared me for. I even swore to myself that I would never major in any field that was writing intensive and grammar heavy.
Look at me now, I am loving college and my experience. Even though it has been a struggle coming to terms with having to add an extra year, I know I will find it worth it in the end because I know I have found something that I love and will be happy to do as a career.
Switching into university studies for a semester also made me find another thing I am passionate about, law.
Take it from someone who was dead set on kinesiology because I thought it was going to be something I loved and was a last-minute choice because I thought I had to come into college knowing what I wanted to do.
It’s OK to not know what you want to do when you come into college but at the very least have an idea of what you are passionate about. Being undecided is OK.
College is the time for you to explore who you are and what you like. Expand that into the world of academics.
It will save you time and money, and in the long run, you will find something that you can see yourself doing for years to come. This is your life, find what you truly want to do for the rest of it.