Alyssa is 22 years old and recently graduated from Oakland University with a bachelor of Science in Biology. She currently lives in Ocala, Florida, where she spends her days working at an equine barn, riding horses and enjoying the sunshine state.
To all those feeling lost, I wish I would have taken this advice before I started college. Wait to start your college education. Take a year, better yet, take two. Do as many different things as you can before declaring a major. How can you possibly know what career you want to have for the rest of you life at 18, 19, 20, hell 30 years old? Unless of course you are dead-set on becoming a neurosurgeon by age 30, then by all means, get going on those biology classes. But as for the rest of you, those who have no freaking clue which classes to sign up for, let alone which major to declare…. wait! Go out, get a low-level, grunt worker type of job, shadow professionals, gain some real world experience before diving into the not so lovely world of textbooks, essays, and research projects. There will come a time for all of that, but only after you have discovered what you makes you tick, what your true passion really is, and not what your parents want it to be. Let this biology major/pre-med tell you, my mom pushed me to apply to as many medical schools as possible. I told her, “Fine, I will do that for you, as long as you’re ok with footing the bill.” Ha! Wow my mom is a saint for putting up with me, but I made my point. I am not going to live my life for others. And neither should you. Discover all the things you like to do and eliminate the things you don’t like to do. No one has all the answers and life unfolds one day at a time. So take a year, take it one day at a time, and experience as much of the real world as you possibly can. That way, you know what you have to look forward to when you actually leave those college walls. Who knows, you may even encounter some injustice in the workplace, some discrimination that makes you angry, some problems that you want to fix, some people that you want to help. You will discover your passion, and that passion will lead to a purpose. But you can only discover that purpose by daily experience. So my advice is to go out and do as many different things as you can before enrolling in your school of choice. Find whatever it is that you like to do, not what classes you like to take. The truth is that when you graduate college, you probably will still have no idea what it is you want to do with the rest of your life. If you do, that’s great. If not, it’s really not such a bad thing. Just think of all the possibilities. All the doors that are still open. My point: take comfort in knowing that you are not alone and it can take many, many years to find your true passion. That’s life. Now go out and LIVE IT.