Hey everyone, I am so excited to announce that I graduated!
This is not a story about my education though, it is about my experience through college and how God was there holding my hand through each step. I also want to share some tips I learned from my college career, that I wish I would have known or applied to my life sooner.
So, I’ll start at the beginning… I have never known what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. I always thought it was so unnecessary for someone to have to choose and hold onto one subject for the rest of their life. During my senior year of high school, while I was applying to colleges, it was thrown into my face too many times to count that I had to choose a career choice. I even went to a professional who is supposed to tell you what you should or could do, but his answer was just as broad as mine. So finally at the very end of summer going into college I decided to try nursing. I thought, “maybe if I go for something specific and get in I will end up liking it.” So I went through my first year of pre-nursing prerequisites and got into nursing school. I was so excited… I thought, “this is it, this is obviously my path!” Unfortunately, I knew something was wrong the very first day in the very first class. The professor stood at the front of the class and said, “alright, I want everyone to go around the room and say why they want to become a nurse.” I thought, “well this should be easy,” but as everyone went around the room my mind was blank, I had absolutely no clue why I wanted to be a nurse… as I was panicking about my answer it became my turn to talk. I looked up, paused, and took a mixture of the answers I had already heard such as: “I am a caretaker, I love the medical field, this is my calling.” Though I felt like my heart couldn’t have been in any of those answers. Knowing that getting into nursing school was such an amazing opportunity, I ignored my first day and continued through nursing school for a year. I was miserable, I knew that I didn’t want to be a nurse.
There I was again back to square one; I had no idea what I wanted to do. So towards the end of that semester of nursing school, I searched through different majors that had a lot of the same prerequisites. I found Health Information Management, I thought, “yea this could be good, healthcare without the direct care.” So I went through the tedious process of switching majors. I spent a lot of hours and summer classes trying to catch up so that I could still graduate on time. At first it seemed fine, it seemed like a field I could tolerate. To no surprise I got to the end of my junior year to find out that not only was I starting to think this was not the right choice, but they were adding to the curriculum. So, I would have to attend an extra semester or two. At this point, I already knew that I didn’t want to do Health Information Management anymore, I especially didn’t want to have to extend my school career even longer for it.
So, I called my advisor, embarrassed and concerned. I asked her if I had any other options without having to add semesters. She said that there was one option I could choose. She explained that I could graduate a semester early with a Bachelors degree in General Studies of math and science and pursue a Sociology Minor. I reluctantly took this offer, remembering all of the bad thoughts and awkward silences that followed when someone said they were a General Studies major. I was embarrassed to switch my major again, I was embarrassed to major in General Studies and I was embarrassed to be a senior in college who didn’t have a single clue what to do with my life.
Then something changed, I found that switching my major to General Studies was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, because I was able to find out who I was without someone telling me who society wanted me to be. During this time I also realized one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. This was that I did not include God in my decision making process throughout college. Though I didn’t try to include Him, He stayed by me. It was clear to see that I was tangled up in a mess of expectations of this world. Throughout my college career God slowly untangled me into the spot where I am now, perfectly happy to be me.
Through my last semester of college, as a General Studies major, God showed me so many things that I want to share with you in hope that you will apply them to your lives.
- Your strengths are not necessarily what you are good at, they are what gives you energy and life. Strengths that drain your energy are not strengths at all.
- Weaknesses are just strengths waiting to be noticed. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- Curiosity creates passions and passions create values. Stay curious, be a life-long learner, do not stop trying new things! The things that you value most in life should be your compass to what you want to define yourself as or what you want your life to be like.
- IT IS OKAY TO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. Schools should be encouraging us to find out who we are, not who we want to work for.
- Its okay to not answer with a job title when someone asked you what you do. If you want to define yourself by something else, go ahead! If you want to define yourself as sister, golf player, follower of Jesus, or even just say I do too many things to choose one, that is perfectly fine because God doesn’t define you as the career you do.
- Most importantly, Put God first. When I stopped worrying, started praying and put my focus on finding Him, I found myself and my purpose.
So, I hope my experience and advice can help some of you to take steps toward being happy with who you are! Comment below and let me know what you think!