It is more common than not that you will come across a high schooler who has a perfect sense of what they want to do with his or her life. For me there was no question: it was always Communications. I’ve spent two years of my life exploring the world of journalism and all of its perks and insights into the real world. I mean, how could I not know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life? We teenagers are always right.
However, as I was filling out my college applications and scrolling down the list of majors to find the one’s that began with “c,” I came across the major Astrophysics. I thought I must’ve been on the wrong page. Where were the typical business and engineering majors? As I continued looking, I came across dozens of majors that I had known nothing about: Classical Civilization,” French and Francophone Studies, behavior Neuroscience and the list went on. I began researching, finding myself fascinated by the variety of career paths and opportunities that these universities offered. And as I looked back at the lone Communications category that I had once been so certain on, I couldn’t help but think about all the hidden paths I could be missing out on by clicking just that box.
Throughout our entire education, we are exposed to almost every type of class; some you grab onto and run, and others you do the bare minimum to get the needed credit you don’t necessarily deserve. I don’t think everyone realizes the amount of opportunities Staples offers. Seriously, how many schools have a full-blown greenhouse? Or a TV production studio that is more advanced than one’s at many universities?
What’s surprising, however, is how few students actually take advantage of the resources Staples offers. So many students claim they take a traditional path with classes such as Intro to Econ and Personal Finance because they believe those classes will teach them how to make money. But since when does success depend solely on the amount of money you make? What happened to picking classes that actually interest you?
From the day we start high school, we are set on a path laid out by our parents and tutors to get good grades in classes that will prepare us for the ultimate amount of success. And yes, for many this path leads them to attending top colleges, followed by getting jobs where their monthly income is more than most people get in a year. But this path is not for everyone, and this path may lead to great unhappiness as it can lead people further and further away from their true interests.
So as I scrolled back up to the question that asked me to check off my major, I decided to do the unheard of and click Undecided. Not because I didn’t think I could be successful in Communications or that I hadn’t loved all that I’ve learned through journalism, but because I’m only seventeen and frankly, I’m not supposed to know. I probably won’t be the next top astrophysicist and I can’t really see myself loving French and Francophone Studies, but honestly, what’s the rush?