The amount of times a student in college gets asked, “What do you want to do?” is one of the most cringeworthy questions for a lot people. If you’re the lucky few who know exactly what they’re passionate about and can picture doing that for the rest of their lives, then “blessed” is more of an accurate description for those people. But for the rest of those students who think they can kind of picture themselves doing something in that major/field, the unknown is so real; it’s scary.
Figuring out the rest of your life at the ripe age of 17 sounds reasonable, right? Wrong. But this doesn’t mean that if you chose to major in psychology that you can’t end up teaching kindergarten. It takes doing something to figure out if you truly enjoy it or not. It’s similar to trying a new pizza topping. How are you going to know if you enjoy the new buffalo chicken recipe unless you buy a slice first? After all, that’s what college is about. Enrolling in all these different classes so you can get a sneak peek into what that field might entail. It also helps you figure out if you’d like to pursue more of those types of classes and that degree.
A lot of people in the working world are currently working jobs in which they did not major in, in college. In a NY Times article Six Myths About Choosing a College Major, written by Jeffrey J. Selingo on November 3, he writes that “Majors tend to lag behind changes in the workplace. No wonder fewer than a third of college graduates work in jobs related to their majors.” This is moreso a problem with curriculum and a lack of field awareness for these students, as opposed to people not knowing what they want to do.
Nikki Giocastro, 24, is a sales assistant for the entertainment industry within the company. She went to SUNY Albany and now works in New York City at Sony. She explains, “I majored in business management and marketing and now I am a Direct Response Assistant at Sony… Safe to say that I’m not doing exactly what I studied in school.” Though being a sales assistant was not the career Giocastro intended to pursue, she is very thankful for the opportunity to have a job in this day and age.
Unlike Giocastro who did major in a type of business field and now works for a major company, there are some students who will major in one type of area and then go on to work in a completely different field entirely.
Kelly Buchanan, 27, went to the University of Rhode Island and she majored in and graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Buchanan is now working with children in a special needs school in Kingston, RI. “I’m a teacher’s assistant (T.A.), meaning I help out the full time teachers with their kids… I’m a helper more or less. I love working with both special needs and non special needs children, it’s crazy how much you can learn from them while they learn from you.” Buchanan has only been working in the school for three months. She plans on going back to college and getting her master’s in education with a concentration of special needs education.
At the end of the day, you want to be happy while working at your job. If you aren’t, and not everyone is, that’s okay. You’re not going to always have a great day of work, even if you’re at your dream job. Do what makes you happy. According to Raghav Haran, author of Career Advice No One Tells You, he gives a list of 10 pieces of advice that can help anyone struggling to find their career path. He gives advice on topics based upon his own personal experience such as how “The real education begins after college” and “Always be getting more exposure.” Haran, your school counselor and advisors, professors and so many more people can be your guide to figuring out just what you want to do with your life.