Max Aguirre\The Paisano
College can be overwhelming, even before you start. You are suddenly expected to make major life decisions in the span of six months. It’s fair to say a majority of college students went through some sort of major crisis as they prepared to start their journey into higher education. The same was true for me.
In my case, the transition made me realize that I took the easy pace of high school for granted. While high school was demanding in its own ways, I never found myself at a crossroads trying to decide what I wanted my life to look like in the future.
I grew accustomed to repeating the same pattern semester after semester until reality finally dawned on me during my senior year of high school. All around me, I saw my peers applying to numerous colleges and planning out their future, while I was still struggling to decide the subject of my major.
Looking back, I realize I may not have been the only one struggling to make the “big choice,” as I like to think of it. Many of my peers were likely experiencing the same internal conflict. Yet, at the time, the simple decision of choosing a major seemed like the end of the world to me. When I did end up choosing my major, the decision itself felt very rushed.
A year into college, I know that I made the best possible choice I could have made as a 16-year-old. I assessed my academic strengths to the best of my ability and decided to follow this path for potentially the next four years of my life.
I still do not know if this decision was the most appropriate, but isn’t uncertainty a part of the college experience, especially if you are unsure what you want to pursue as a career?
It is okay to question your decisions from time to time. It is okay to feel uncertain. It is okay to not know the answer to every question. I wish my 17-year-old self realized this when she started college.
When I finally decided I wanted to major in biology, I applied to a couple of public universities in Texas. Ultimately, I was accepted to the four schools I applied to, and I was then faced with the dilemma of whether or not I wanted to move across the state just so I could go to my first-choice college and handle the added cost of living in a dorm.
I ended up choosing to stay at home for multiple reasons: the most important being that it would be the most cost-effective option to pursue my undergraduate degree in San Antonio.
My decision to stay at home weighed on me all throughout my senior year in high school; I think it affected me even more than my dilemma about my major. There were times when I compared my decision to that of my peers as I saw many of them moving out of town for college. However, as time passed and college drew closer, I began to accept that this was the best decision given my circumstances.
A lot of college students have to forgo opportunities they were looking forward to, simply because the logistics of those opportunities aren’t viable for their individual circumstances. When you are faced with situations like these, it can be mentally draining, and you may even regret making those decisions. However, it is important to be kind to yourself.
Everything may not work out like you thought it would, especially when it comes to something like college. You have to make some difficult decisions. You are subject to harsh deadlines and feel like you must rush into a future before you even have the time to contemplate what the future holds.
I too felt a rush of emotions as I went through the process to prepare myself for my academic future. Everything felt uncertain — it still does — but I’ve realized that it’s okay for me to feel this way. I know that I might stumble along the way, but as I navigate through this journey, I will figure things out. My journey may not be as fast-paced as my peers, but that does not make it any less fruitful.
At the end of the day, don’t forget to remind yourself that, despite all the hard decisions, you are doing your best. You may not be exactly where you envisioned yourself to be and that is okay.