It’s a question that we all inevitably ask ourselves sometime throughout our college careers. We go through our day to day routine, class after class, semester after semester, putting an insane amount of pressure on ourselves to succeed when often times, we might not know what or where the destination is. I can definitely say that I’ve had my fair share of doubts after a midterm or an essay where I questioned whether or not this would all matter 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the line. The truth is, I’m not sure if it will matter. What I do know from working at the Career Center, however, is that if you asked the employers and recruiters at Google, Apple, Goldman Sachs, Spotify, or any other big name company out there if they knew that they would be where they are now when they were in their early 20s, then 9 times out of 10 they’ll say they had no clue.
In short, that’s the most important thing to remember: It’s okay to not have it all figured out and figuring it out is just a part of the college experience. Everyday we grow, mature, and learn more about what it is we want to spend our life doing, so take a deep breath and keep moving forward.
Now let’s take a minute to think about what exactly that “process” entails. Here are my steps to getting you closer to “figuring it out”.
- Experience. Experience. Experience.
Try as many new things as possible. Find internships, externships, shadow people in the field of interest, network, and get as much information and experience as you can to be able to comfortably decide whether or not that field is something worth pursuing. Just think about it, worst case scenario you end up spending a couple weeks doing something you don’t necessarily enjoy. That’s a much better option than spending the rest of your undergrad pursuing something that isn’t at all fulfilling in my estimation.
- Don’t be shy.
Use your network! LinkedIn has saved me countless times during my monthly existential crisis and has provided me with a network of strangers who are always willing to help someone who was once in their shoes.
- Remember that it’s okay!!
This is probably the hardest thing to do but the most important. Remember that you’re young and even though it seems like everyone around you might have it figured out, the truth is we all move through life at our own pace. Live at yours and #TrustTheProcess.