SO. MANY. PEOPLE go to college with the preconceived mindset that this is it, whatever I choose is my career and my path for the next 50 years..... Or at least I did! I was scared out of my mind, and kept pondering on, “well if I choose this major, that’s it, no going back now!” But after looking back over the last three years, goodness, how WRONG was 17-year-old Bria.
I know what you are thinking, this girl hasn’t even graduated college yet, what makes her advice qualified? Hear me out... between my mom, mentors, and a ton of helpful bosses, I can promise you a have a solid understand on this intimdating topic and, from one student to another, some advice you NEED to hear.
Let’s talk about pursuing this unknown path!
Take a Million Internships and Jobs
Not really a million, but really. I honestly did not know how real "not following the straight arrow" was until I did a 180 from interning in Congress to working at a local women’s lifestyle magazine. Just for reference, I am a Journalism major, Poli Sci minor, so it all makes sense in some way. But back to the story, that was the moment that I understood that not only do we have so much time to learn, but we have so much space to do that. Even if you are aware of the job that PERFECTLY fits your major and all of the experience that you offer, still apply to everything, even the positions that feel totally out of your league. The application process can be so daunting, but it allows you to understand what skills transfer to which position, how to attract companies to you, and how to use your degree to YOUR liking, not letting it completely determine your path.
It is all a Stepping Stone....
Your major serves as a stepping stone for the workforce. The skills taught in your focus are not only transferable to that one specific role, but to so many. These days many jobs require a degree only, and if you can do and enjoy the job, then the degree focus is a minor concern.
For example, I mentioned my 180 from working with Congress to a fashion magazine. I went from wearing a business professional every day and running into some of the Nation’s top leaders to finding the top fashion trends, showing them off every day at work. And what both experiences taught was the importance of walking confidently into each position, no matter how different or off base it may be from your degree's "path". That is real world prep, because let’s be real, life is just weird.
Realize that life is going to be SUPER weird while you figure it out!
Speaking of weird, you can't forget that other parts of life will STILL happen while trying to find your right career path, so give yourself time and grace. Yes, you might move home in the midst of all of this, or maybe live with five girls in a two-bedroom apartment. Life happens and it happens all in this process of trying to "figure it out", it doesn't just pause. But truly that is the best part of it all, the chaos makes you really appreciate the small wins, and BIG posibilities to come.
Think About Where and How you Can Make a Difference.
My mom told me something not long ago that resonated so much with the current climate, of always being on the go, joining and doing everything, and moving just to feel like we are staying on the hamster wheel. She said “All the organizations, the jobs, internships and people in the world won’t make you whole, you have to make yourself whole in whatever way works for you, you have to rescue yourself.”
So I say all of that to say, do what makes you feel most whole, where you can be the best version of yourself, you wake up every day and feel proud of the work that you are doing, and be okay in realizing that this may not be the sterotypical path your Bachelors Degree is geared towards.
I have so much more living and understanding to do in life, but what I have learned over the last 21 years, we are meant for much more than one single passion or calling. There is so much in us to offer to the world, and while we may be studying that one marketing, PR, marine science, major in college, you will UNDOUBTLY discover other passions on your path to your college degree. That is the weirdness and awesomeness of being a young adult, EMBRACE IT.
About the Author:
Bria Scott is an amazing member of our Intern Queen Network, who served on our Junior Board and participates in may IQ Agency Ambassador Programs. She is a senior at Howard University.