Doctors, lawyers and accountants, oh my. How does one choose? Well if you’re me, you don’t…until your junior year of course.
130 weeks ago (according to my Instagram), I found myself at Florida State University’s orientation for incoming freshmen. Sitting on a twin bed in the Wildwood dorm, I thought about my future career. Unlike my high school friends, I had no interest in becoming a doctor or a pharmacist. So where did my talents reside?
I began to narrow down my options by leafing through multiple pamphlets. Biochemistry, Civil Engineering and Choral Conducting were automatic outs. “I’m good at communicating,” I noted. “Communications major it shall be.”
Oh, the excitement. I googled communication careers. Feeling like an adult, I knew I was well on my way to becoming a career woman. Freshman year flew by in a blur of lecture halls with 300 students and getting teased for wearing my student ID on a lanyard around my neck. Amidst the freshman novelties, I took zero communication classes and as a result became uninterested in learning the difference between opinion leaders and opinion followers.
The south bred me with an innate need to shower others with “southern hospitality.” Why didn’t I think of this before? I was born to pursue a career in hospitality. I couldn’t believe I spent a year foolishly disregarding my roots, so I changed my major.
I acquired an A in my first core class and knew I was on the right track. Summer came quickly. I took Macroeconomics, a mandatory class for the major. Why did I need to know the components of gross domestic product to plan events at the local Marriott? Screw that nonsense; I changed my major.
One couch potato Sunday, as I sat dazed and confused (whether it be from my struggle to choose a major or the amount of pizza flavored Pringles I just scarfed down while binge-watching Law and Order), I envisioned my haphazard future. I had an epiphany. My destiny mirrored my mother’s, which meant I must become a teacher. My logic for this came up pretty dry, but what can I say? I love my mom and that’s that. Plus, lots of kids follow the career paths their parents paved—why couldn’t I?
The next day, I marched into the Early Childhood Education building and spoke with an advisor. After gathering the paperwork, proverbial sheets of paper displaying their binding requirements, I headed home satisfied with my decision. A few days before fall semester began, I realized something; seeing a cranky kid throw a temper tantrum while I try to enjoy a bloomin’ onion at Outback makes me twitch. How could I manage a teaching position?
On a stress overload, I approached an advisor…again. At this point, I planned on eenie-meenie-miney-moe-ing it. Surprisingly not enthused with my umpteenth major change, the advisor led me down a more technological path and introduced me to ICT, Information Communication and Technology. I accepted the offer.
Halfway through my first semester in the major, I realized I surpassed every male in my class. Girls rule, boys drool. I made a companion, Anna, and that alone gave me a feeling of completion. Anna and I bonded over regular late night phone calls because our newly created websites weren’t displaying the correct font size. I finally found my place in the vast land of college majors—or so I thought.
After a semester with my eyes permanently glued to a computer screen, I became weary of determining a byte prefix and learning about binary math. Computers weren’t as cool as I once thought.
I felt the tension in our text conversation when I notified my parents that I gave up on ICT. The tension made me too frightened to open up another “ok” text from Dad. They grew tired of me wasting precious time (money) by twiddling my thumbs. This was indeed the final straw.
With my hair brushed, mascara on and a spritz of perfume, I made my way to another advisor’s office for the fifth and final time. Exiting the building, a large grin spread across my face. When I started my junior year, I would be an Editing, Writing and Media major.
Today, I’m about to start the spring semester of my junior year. Although Major Figures of American Literature with Shonda Stevens’ stern yet enthusiastic teaching made me want to drop out completely, the challenge managed to make me feel more comfortable in Editing, Writing and Media than I had been in any other major.
Newsflash: Adult-ing sucks. 18 year olds don’t know anything, and they sure as hell don’t know what career they foresee in their future. If you think you do, drive on over to McDonald’s, order yourself a Big Mac and sulk until you accept the reality of your impending daily, existential freak outs. I’m aware of the lengths I reached in order to get it right, but like they say, fifth time’s the charm.