Today is my amazing sister Ashley’s 21st birthday! Ashley is a junior in the very prestigious Journalism program at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She often calls me to vent about her tough assignments and projects, and questions how she ended up pursuing journalism. Luckily, she is double majoring in Gender Studies, which (in my opinion) is her true passion.
Listening to her rant and rave about college life brings back memories of feeling the same way. There is confusion about choosing a major, paying lots of money to pursue it, and then wondering if it is even right for you. College consists of certain crazy professors, crazy friends, and sometimes even crazy roommates on top of a very odd schedule.
I always tell Ashley to think of journalism as a challenge. If anything she can be proud of her achievement, even if she goes on to do something completely different in her career. No matter what degree a student is pursuing, they are learning A LOT more than they realize!
Many who say they are caught up in a quarter life crisis will state the reason behind the crisis as uncertainty of knowing what they want to do with their career. Perhaps it is because we hold on so rigidly to the idea of following the career path we picked out when we were applying to college at age 17.
For example, I have a Finance degree but know that my future career achievements will not be in the field of Finance. It took me a while to admit to myself that I am not cut out to be a Financial Analyst or an Investment Banker. Now that I have let go of those rigid expectations for myself, I have found so much relief in knowing that I love being creative, helping other women, and having a flexible career in which I can determine my own path. Although I am still part of Corporate America, I have a “road map” of where I’d like to go in the future which is an exciting first step!
Don’t fight it if you aren’t sold on getting to the top of the field pertaining to your major. Fighting it will lead to being unsatisfied in your job, and feeling like a little piece of you is dying at work every day. Or, if you’ve tried something you thought you would love and don’t, stop stressing yourself out and try something different. That’s all part of the fun of being in our twenties and trust me, even employers expect it.
Happy Birthday Ashley and thanks for continuing to inspire me every day!