Okay, now that I’ve got your attention with that “click-bait” title, you’ll like t0 hear what I find to be one of the most difficult situations I have faced. It’s a common situation too, one that everyone faces at one point. I keep getting distracted as my Mom is working out to 50 cent in our home gym. Yep.
Anyways- I hope it doesn’t disappoint you to hear that this aforementioned “difficult situation” is simply deciding on a major. Yeah, you’ve likely heard it before. Not even really deciding on a major, but rather deciding on what you’re going to try and do with the rest of your life.
I know that sounds a bit morbid and dramatic, but essentially, when you graduate high school, you need to either have a.) already planned something out or b.) figure out 50+ years of life within months. I say it puts a lot of pressure because of this.
If you’re like me, and you didn’t have a burning passion for some kind of discrete job, then you may feel lost during this time. Unfortunately, feeling lost isn’t really allowed here. You really have to decide. Of course, you can always “postpone” things- either live at home and take a break before going to college (if you’re okay with that and if your family is as well), or do what I did and go to community college. I always explain that to friends, the reason I’m sitting here at year 2 of community college is because I didn’t have a clue on where I wanted to go or what I wanted to pursue.
And, I felt alone. I know, a lot of people don’t know what they wanna do, save a select few. But, they’d been planning college since 9th grade. The school system does that. They take this massive pressure of making a life decision and subtly set it on the shoulders of 15 and 16 year olds. I’ve been spending the past week applying places, considering my major, and that’s why I wanna write this post. I still am having trouble making up my mind.
For me, I love science. I always have- I love medicine, what it can do for us, I love reading about how a group of researchers may have found links to cure a terrible illness. I love reading up about how you can “train your mind”, or how you can get the most out of life by following a certain routine. I like bettering myself and I also like finding new ways to ensure other’s are bettering themselves. However, it’s hard to call it a passion. Passion is probably my favorite word (I don’t entirely know why), but it’s so hard to define. I can’t go around telling people I’m passionate about being a biological researcher- I don’t know that. I’ve never done it!
Naturally, when it came to looking at degrees and majors in 11th grade, I went looking at science- biology, chemistry, neuroscience. My dad is an engineer, he’s worked electrical engineering jobs since I was born. His major, however, was biomedical engineering. He has done his fair share of trying to convince me to follow his path, and it’s hard to argue with him, because he’s incredibly successful.
For awhile, I decided on biomedical engineering. I found that this would give me the best chance of getting a medical industry job without going to med school. The thing about science majors, I’ve realized, is that they aren’t worth nearly as much without a PhD/medical school. That make the decisions even more difficult- “Are you passionate enough about biology to pursue a near 10-year education and be in hundreds of thousands of student loan debt?”. Shhhhhhiiiiieeeeeeeet.
So, I recently found something new out. Something hidden, that you can only really learn about by reading the wisdom of others. The wisdom that comes with actually doing it. I’ve read a lot of personal stories about college majors and job success this week, and I found out something semi-super-important- a biomedical degree won’t guarantee you nearly as much as an electrical engineering degree. Even my dad had mentioned this- an electrical engineer can have the same, if not better, success at getting a medical job as a biomedical engineer. Apparently, biomed is super hard, yet doesn’t stack up compared to many similar engineering degrees. So, I’m gonna major in electrical. I think.
There wasn’t much confidence in that last sentence, and there really should’ve been. 9 times out of 10, a major doesn’t directly dictate what job you’ll get out of college. It’s just a general direction. The way I have came to see it, is that your best bet is to 1. Go to college and 2. Pursue a tried and true degree. If you don’t have some burning passion or some other-worldly talent, then you just need to find a direction. The only issue is, you never really hear this. I rarely ever recall a high school teacher telling me to relax and just pick a general direction. I always heard “Take the career interest survey! Pick a major that you want to find a job in” Truth be told, this makes everyone so nervous. You’re asking 18 year olds to step and find their way until their in their 60s. No one can do that, not even the most determined and gifted individuals.
So that’s my piece on that. I’ve learned some things I didn’t know about when getting my HS diploma. You don’t need to expect yourself to know everything. I know I always subconsciously do this, I always think it needs to be written. It doesn’t help that others expect the same of you, but just remember, in the words of Nickelback, look at this photograph.
Yeah that had nothing to do with anything. I don’t know why I included that lyric. I just wanted to.
Thanks for reading
Luca DeJesu, 1:57 PM