Create your own path, don’t follow a path


Ethan Pham

Children are often asked, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” That question, while seemingly harmless, perpetuates the idea that, from a young age, we should have a definitive path set for ourselves. That same question eventually manifests itself into, “What are you going to do after college?” as if we should also automatically have a post-collegiate life planned out.

I walked into college despising my major and my university, because it wasn’t the path I was determined to follow. I wanted to leave UTSA to pursue my preferred university choices that offered my preferred degree choices. I had a plan, and it did not include UTSA.

Much to my surprise, I have enjoyed my time at UTSA and I have enjoyed my major. I’ve realized that my major (communication) encompasses nearly everything I love, and it has provided me the opportunity to pursue fields I want to pursue and to experience fields I didn’t know I was interested in.

What I have come to realize is that life is not supposed to be so uncompromising, not so rigid, not so pre-constructed. We are told we need to follow our paths to success in life, but life-paths are meant to be created as we walk them. Our paths should bend and flow with our lives. We shouldn’t force life to go in a direction just because of a plan we may have set or plans someone created for us. Plans change and grow just like we do.

We need to stop insisting people know what they will do the day after they graduate. Sometimes, we just don’t know, and that’s a beautiful thing  we often overlook in hopes of reducing uncertainty. Life is an adventure and we should treat it as such. We should go where our feelings take us, go after what intrigues us and chase what sparks our curiosity. We grow by being flexible and willing to explore what life has to offer.

Let’s take a stance to stop being so stiff in our life plans.

So, this is my advice to those of you who are still going through your college careers; if you are considering changing majors, wanting to try out something entirely new or just a little lost at the moment, it is okay! University life is the time to discover yourself and learn about what you love.

My advice to those that are graduating: if you are unsure of your next step in life, trust that your interests will guide you to your own success. Stay determined and pursue as many opportunities as you can because they may lead you right where you want to be.