If you’re in that confusing and seemingly terrifying stage of your life where you don’t know what you want to do after college, join the club. Commence Panic Mode, right? Wrong! It’s perfectly normal to feel this way. Plenty of students go to school and realize they want to change their majors completely or that there is still some thinking to do in terms of what their career plans are. If you’re at this point in your life, don’t stress, and instead realize the amazing potential that lies ahead of you! Here are some reasons why it’s OK to not know what you want to do after college:
1. 6.7% of the World’s Population Has a College Degree, and You Are/Will Be One of Them!
Even if you don’t know what you want to do after college, you’ll still have earned a college degree, which is a huge accomplishment. You’re educated, you’re surviving the crazy ride that is college, and you probably have some awesome stories as well. Embrace these years and use them as a time to learn about yourself and what you truly love to do.
2. Believe It or Not, You’re Still Young
Just because you graduated college does not make you “old”—quite the contrary actually, because you have your whole life in front of you! It’s okay to make mistakes and figure things out as you go along. You’re not expected to have everything planned perfectly, especially at this point in life.
3. You Can Take This Time to Explore
Life after college is the best time to travel and "find yourself," so to speak. Go ahead and backpack around Europe for a few months. You have no obligations or anything tying you down, so take advantage! Not to mention, if you’re still currently in school, there are so many clubs and programs within college that offer international trips, so take full advantage of them! An added bonus: you can participate in fundraising efforts to help lower the cost.
4. People Change Jobs All the Time, and That's OK
Don't pull your hair out because you have no idea what industry you want to go in to. People change occupations way more often than you think. You're not bogged down to one field just because you have a degree in it. Start looking into internships and opportunities to learn new trades and gain experience for a new career path!
5. Life after College is the Best Time to Discover Your Niche
As mentioned before, you have no obligations, so take what free time you have and sign up for that art class you've always wanted to try, or go on that audition you were too busy to practice for during school. The sky's the limit!
6. College Offers Several Connections
Take advantage of the organizations and programs within your school for connections to new career paths. For example, if you have an interest in journalism, join the school’s TV network and see if you can either do some behind the scenes work or score a spot reporting in front of the camera! All of this experience will be awesome to have under your belt, especially if you’re stuck in a different major and need résumé builders.
7. There is No Definitive Timeline for Your Life
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no manual anywhere that says that you have to graduate college at “this” time or start a family at “this” time. Some people go back to school at age 30, and some even at 50 or 60. You never know what life will throw your way, so just know that if you’re feeling stuck, you can always take some time off and re-visit your career later on. If you need to start paying back student loans right away, take up a part-time job in the meantime while you’re searching.
Life is a tricky thing. No one has it entirely figured out, which is part of the beauty of it. Each day is a new learning experience, and part of the fun of life is discovering what your passions are and what excites you. If you’re still trying to find that passion and you’re worried about what’s to come, take a deep breath and keep working at it. Life has a funny way of working itself out. How did you decide what to do after college?