Choosing a path for your future can be hard. Let me rephrase that: It is hard. When it comes to choosing a college and major, trying to find the best option for you and the best choice for your academic home is stressful. However, if we zoom out and look at the bigger picture, it’s only as complicated as we make it. You’ll make mistakes and learn as you go, but why not try to live your life to the fullest by studying something that will make your life worthwhile? If you step back and look inside yourself, you might find that a happy and successful life where you pursue your interests and make a living is not as hard to obtain as it seems.
Considering your interests
Almost every interest you have can be pursued in formal education and turned into some source of income. For example, a person interested in writing may want to study Literature or invest in a freelance creative writing career. On the other hand, students interested in photography could formally study Digital Photography, possibly leading them to be the next Robert Capa or Diane Arbus. There are many interests and hobbies that can be made into a career. The only thing you need is passion and ambition, and I can almost guarantee you that with enough practice, dedication, and the right program, you can make something out of anything.
Combining your pursuits
Sometimes knowing what you want to do in life and actually doing it are two very different things. You may be worried your interests won’t help you succeed in life. But there are steps you can take to make sure that what you do for the rest of your life also brings you happiness and success. The concept of ikigai, meaning “life worth,” is helpful here to ensure you’re following all your passions. When you’re considering majors and minors, the programs you choose should ensure:
- You’re doing something you love.
- You’re doing something you’re good at.
- You’re doing something the world needs.
- You’re doing something you can be rewarded for.
Using college to explore your career options could take you months or even years to figure out what your true calling is. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to connect your personal interests to your academics.
Being open to change
It’s important to make sure you aren’t afraid of branching out your options for your major and minor, no matter how different they are. I personally want to major in Psychology and minor in Veterinary Care—two very different fields, yet both things I love studying. However, as time goes by, I might change my mind, and you might change yours too. If you miss opportunities to do the things you love in college, you’re only going to regret not having those experiences in the long run. With that in mind, pursue classes and programs that not only strike your interests but will also impact your career success. Time passes quickly, people grow and change, and so will your interests and plans. You might think you’re passionate about something and then a year later lose interest in it. That is 100% okay. We’re all human, and we all experience these changes. And if it’s too late in your college career to change your major, realize that your degree can lead to many different careers, so all hope isn’t lost in landing your dream job.
Going to college is going to be a huge reality switch, emotionally and physically. Becoming an adult can be scary, which is more reason to plan out how what you do in college is going to benefit you when you’re out of college. Combining your personal interests with your academics isn't as hard as it’s made out to be. Ask yourself what you want in life. Do you want to settle for a job you’re not passionate about and regret never following your dreams? Or do you want to be someone who can say, “I’m doing something I love and I never work a day in my life?”
A great place to start chasing your dreams is to look for schools that make combining programs easy. Check out How to Find Colleges to Pursue Multiple Interests to learn more!