As a child you grew up hearing from teachers and parents, “you can do whatever you want. There are so many opportunities in the world, so much out there to see, learn, and explore.” You were taught to play dress up and use your imagination with games like doctor and whatever else your wee, little mind could come up with.
As you got older, for some reason, creativity and imagination lost their value. You maybe became slightly disillusioned. School became more of a you-need-to-think-logically-about-this and do this only this way. The dialogue switched from you can do anything, to start building your resume, how are you going to make money some day, how will you be successful? In high school, maybe even middle school, you started getting involved. You joined student government, key club, all the future leader clubs, honor societies, you name it.
Then you got to college. Wow, what a wonderful place. There were so many ways to get involved there, so many things to do. You could hopefully hone your talents and finally find your passions.
But, how, as an eighteen year old, are you supposed to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life? That childhood imagination finally became reality when you got to college. There are tons of majors to pick from, but you want to learn about it all.
You always hear people talk about their passions, but in a college where there are a million and one required courses, how can you find the time to take philosophy, kinesiology, biology, Spanish, fashion, education classes, any of the classes you actually want to take. Not only do you feel the pressure to pick a major, to pick a career, but the also looming weight of getting involved, finding an internship, and so much more.
So you do what any normal person would do. You try to do it all. You join Greek life, a couple honor societies, one or two clubs for fun, and one or two clubs to better your career. You end up having meetings everyday and you’re constantly running from place to place.
When does that stop? You hope the time will come that you can finally do the things you want to do. Right now you’re so focused on building your resume, you don’t even have time to breathe, let alone revisit all those untouched opportunities from your childhood.
It doesn’t have to be like this, though. If you sit back and take time to reflect, really think about the things you value, you realize you can do it all. Life is full of so many amazing opportunities and you have a limited amount of time in this world, so take in as much as you can. Don’t get trapped in a mundane routine. Don’t fall victim to the idea that you need to be rich or need to do what your parents told you to do. There’s so much more to life than that. Explore all your options.
If you pick a major and it doesn’t end up working out, it is okay. If you get involved in something, do it because you care about it. Don’t do it for a resume. Don’t do it because society tells you to do it. Reflect. Think about your own self. Who do you want to be? How can you get there? Follow your passions. Even if you have passions across the board, you will find a way to incorporate them all into your life.
When life seems too overwhelming, too stressful, just take a step back. Revisit your childhood imagination and just breathe. There is hope. You can do it all. Just be sure it’s the all that you really, truly care about.