College bound and terrified

So I just really need to get this off my chest and talk to some people about this.
In about a month, I'll be headed off to college, and I'm scared.
Like...really, REALLY scared.
I know it sounds silly, but I'm so terrified.
The main reason is because I have no idea what I wanna do. And it's not a lack of interests. I wanna do to much.
And people are constantly on my back, telling me I need to hurry up and pick something to do. People are acting like it's a one and done deal (even though I know college and school will always be there), and I feel like I have to quickly pick something, reguardless of if it makes me happy or not.
I'm just having trouble actually dealing with this transistion, and find myself procrastinating more and more with it.
Everyone is so excited and knows what they wanna do, and I'm just off in the corner, clueless as can be, and people act like I'm the dummy for not knowing what I wanna do with the rest of my life.
Is it weird that I'm having these feelings?

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7 replies since 17th July 2011 • Last reply 17th July 2011

Honestly, I've changed my major 4 times now {which actually is about a new one for every year I've been in college} :]

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Most people think they know what they want to do until they actually get into college and start taking classes. I know plenty of people that have almost/completely finished their major and graduated only to realize once they get the job, they hate it! Don't feel like you have to rush, this is your life after all.

The first few years of college are general requirements, this means regardless of your major you will most likely have to take the same classes. Use this time to get a feel for different areas of study and find out what you are interested in and where you do well.
Also look for an internship or volunteer somewhere you are interested, this will give you a behind the scenes view of the job and you will be more prepared when making a career choice. Most colleges offer personality quizzes and assessments to help you determine future careers, take advantage of this! You may learn about jobs you never knew you would enjoy.

I would suggest you look for a career where you will be happy, money isn't everything. Whatever you do don't procrastinate because trust me it is hard to start going back to school after being out for years. Also take your math classes as quickly as possible unless you are a whiz at math it is easy to forget.

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Don't worry about your major! At my University I literally couldn't declare a major until the 2nd year. In your first year you take general courses that tons of different majors overlap, it's only in your 2nd and 3rd year that you really define what you are going to do. Also don't worry about taking classes that you don't like you most often have about a month into the class to drop out of it and change it. So if you take english 101 and you feel like you hate it talk to a councellor and change the course to something you might like.

Don't let people get on your back about your major or life direction. If someone you know starts getting on you about it just say something along the lines of "I'm sure you didn't decide what you were going to do for the rest of your life at 18."

The thing you have to keep in mind (and I say this now because I went through it when I went away to Uni a few years ago) is that you're young! You're sooo young! You might not feel young but when you consider that you still have your whole life ahead of you it's easy to see that you have tons of time to change your mind and fall into your own.

Also don't worry about the people who are your age and "know what they want" because it's almost always untrue! I went away to school for English to be a writer and I hated the course! I still like writing but that school and their curriculum wasn't right so I dropped out and now I'm going to go to a different school and try Journalism. Who is to say that those people who are sure they want to be a doctor wont start their course and either find it impossible to complete or find that they can't handle the blood?

Right now is you time to make some mistakes and change your mind BUT you might just hit the ground running!

Good luck at school! Enjoy your time there and don't be afraid to admit that you don't like it and you want to change. It took me 2 years to finally admit it to myself and once I changed my focus I feel like a weight is lifted off my chest!

So go and live your life! You'll be fine Happy

(sorry for the essay)

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Hmmm, this probably won't help but just try and focus on your interests.
So i'm going to take a guess and take it you like crafts... (NEVER, lol).
If you like art, focus on that. If you do not enjoy what you are studying, you won't stick at it.

Don't get pushed into something you don't want to do, it won't get you anywhere.

I love science and all things medical - so i'm focusing on biology, nuclear radiation side effects, neurology, pschology... i'm all over the place study-wise, but it's what I enjoy so I stick in.

(I'm not at college btw)

Hope this helps (it probably won't)
Good Luck x

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@Lo just read your post (I reply THEN read the rest of the posts which sometimes renders my advice useless because someone has already said it, oh well). You hit the nail on the head. I agree completely, it's so hard just to 'decide' what you want to do when 1) you have your whole life ahead of you 2) there is loads of different careers to choose.

They should have a 'settle in, do what you like' year in uni/college just to see which classes you can handle...

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Well, I got a nice, long lecture today about how I should already know what I want to do for college and all that jazz and about how much it's going to cost, how I apperantly show no drive for anything I ever do in my life, blah, blah, blah...

It's just so frustrating, because it seems everyone else gets these exploration chances, and there's no pressure for them (except that they actually just go to school and do the best they can), while I'm over here, being told I should know EXACTLY what I wanna do for college, and when I put out ideas, they only get shot down because I don't want to go to school to be a doctor or a lawyer or a business woman.

Everything I want to do gets shot down or apperantly I don't have to go to school for that, and I get little to no support on it because no one understands it and I don't know what classes I'm required to take at this college (since I'm first in my family to go to college, no one else knows either).

I try to focus on my interests, and then I get told how dumb they are and how I'll never make it doing any of that stuff unles I'm ready to up and leave to find work somewhere else, or how there are no jobs in those fields, how no one will hire me, or one reason or another.

I just don't know what to do becuase no one around me will really listen to me when I talk (I have a few people, but none I can go to right when I need help or someone to listen). People in my family think it's dumb that I want to go into the arts and explore and want to learn, instead of just settling into a job that I might really not like.

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Well Erica you've come to a tough time in your life where you are going to piss people off. Sorry to tell you that but some people are going to be dissapointed in you for following your dreams or interests but you HAVE TO. It's your life, you're out of high school, you're a young adult and you are starting to pave the way for yourself.

Do not settle for anything. You are too young to settle right now! Right now is the time that you have to step up and take chances and not be haunted by "what ifs".

When I was a senior in high school I had a teacher that asked the whole class what they wanted to do and what they were going to school for and when I said "to be a writer" she said to me, "Oh that's a hard path. You should have a back-up plan because 90% of people who try to do that don't make it" Well her advice wasn't much of a pep-talk and it wasn't much help because we know all that stuff. We know that we should have back up plans because we tell ourselves that everyday! We are our own biggest critics. What we need are people that lift us up and inspire us! The people in the world that have everything they've ever wanted tried hard to get it, they didn't settle for what's easy or what makes sense right now, they reached for their dreams. And for the people who tried and didn't make it, well at least they are not going to go to bed and say "I should have tried."

When you are older who are you going to depend on? Yourself. The people who are telling you what you should be doing right now are not going to be around for the long-run because sooner or later you are going to have to get out on your own. So don't worry about the haters now because they shouldn't run your life. Only you should.

Wow. I'm sorry this turned into such a long speech! I guess I just have all these feelings because I went against what people told me to do and some people are still saying what I should do or should have done but those voices that were negative have quieted down. They're stopping because they've noticed that I'm no longer listening.

This may come off as naive or foolish to some people but you have to remember that the trail-blazers were almost always the "freaks" of their time... It just takes a lot longer for everyone else to come around. ;)

Just do what feels right because if you go away to school for something you are not passionate about you're going to hate it and it wont be worth it.

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