A Word of Advice for Undecided Students


Morgan Terry


Whether you’re an incoming freshman or preparing to transfer to a four-year university across the country, it’s not unusual for a college student to have no idea what their next move will be following college graduation. It can feel unnerving to not know what your future plans are—but fear not, you are not alone. Here is some helpful advice to move you in the right direction.

First things first, know at least one thing that you are good at. It can be something as small as being good at baking homemade pastries or something as major as being good at quantum physics. Isolate at least one thing that you know you can do well and enjoy. Then brainstorm careers that involve that talent in some way or another, or let it be a guide to finding a career that is somehow related to that talent.

Let’s say for whatever reason you’re having a hard time discovering a talent (because everybody has at least one)—forget that idea. Find your area of interest; it doesn’t necessarily have to be something you’re good at—just something that intrigues you or something that you enjoy. For example, do you like kids? Do you enjoy volunteering? Do you like eating foreign cuisine? You’d be surprised at how helpful this can be when searching for a career to pursue. Try to focus your attention less on a field like medicine or law and more on smaller scale factors like your interests and hobbies.

Chances are we all know at least one unfortunate soul who is stuck in an occupation he or she loathes. Being indecisive can make you feel helpless, especially when you know you have to find some way to start paying off those student loans right after you walk across that stage and toss your cap up in the air. But this can lead to hasty decision-making and pressure you to take a job that you truly do not enjoy. That’s why it’s important to begin your career search as early as your freshman year. I’m sure you’ve heard it before that it’s important to find a job that you love, but in all honestly it might be the most important advice you ever hear.

But this doesn’t mean you should completely disregard the financial aspect of career choices. The cost of living has gone up tremendously since our parents were our age. Back then, there wasn’t such a panic to find a job upon graduation because, quite frankly, job opportunities were far more abundant and the cost of education was much less. But these days, millennials are graduating with upwards of fifty and sixty thousand dollars in debt, with very few jobs that can help to pay them off. This is the reason we’ve begun to see so many young people accept positions in retail or fast food where there is little chance to make good money and little opportunity to move up career-wise.
Be very thoughtful and picky when it comes to choosing a career path. Keep these factors in mind when deciding, and don’t decide too hastily. Don’t settle, be confident and be creative in your decision-making. There are whole new unexplored fields in the workforce abundant with new and exciting job opportunities. Don’t fear the future, prevail it.