College is the time in our life when we’re supposed to have the time of our life, right? When we can explore the world and all the vast opportunities and paths it holds for us. When we can relax a little and have fun, before the real work of life begins. Most of all, it’s the time when we really get to “find” ourselves. Yes?
I can say this because I was a believer in all of the above. I was the student having the time of my life, enjoying my studies, and really trying to “find” myself. First I found myself in history, before deciding I couldn’t do much with that major and switching to business. After several early-morning economics and finances classes, however, I decided my brain couldn’t think that hard that early, so I switched majors again – this time to education. After creating a few lesson plans, I again decided I’d taken a wrong turn. Declaring a new pre-law major I thought I’d finally figured out who I really was. I had been on the debate team in elementary school, after all, and loved to argue in general, so of course law school would be the right place for me. I’d finally “found” myself, and was thrilled about it.
Fate stepped in the next year, however, in the form of my brother – only a year older than me but several years ahead of me in school at this point (never having changed majors). He began law school that fall and, after seeing his rigorous study schedule and taking a few of his brutal practice tests, I again decided I’d been wrong, this was not the place I wanted to be headed, and ended up – you guessed it – changing majors.
I eventually earned my degree. In general communications. In only seven years…roughly the same amount of time I could have completed medical school. While I certainly believe college is a phase of life to be enjoyed, as are all phases of life, I no longer believe that’s a good enough reason to flit around while there. The best way to “find yourself” is never to lose yourself to begin with. There are better, less expensive, and more productive ways of exploring the opportunities and paths the world has to offer. If you have lost yourself and need finding, do it in high school, or at least find a college major your can live with in high school, declare it from the minute you step on campus, and, above all, stick with it. You’ll be glad you did.