Thursday, February 28, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

One of the biggest decisions I will make is looming before me: what to major in. Today in one of my classes we had a guest speaker come in, who by the way is the found of Tahitian Noni and Stephen's hot cocoa, and he encouraged us to find our passion and to major in what we love and what we're good at. Two problems- 1. I don't know what I love 2. I don't know what I'm good at. Don't get me wrong, I think I'm decent at many things but I'm not especially good at anything and being at BYU it seems like everyone else is good, in fact amazing, at everything. I think I'm feeling a little lost in the crowd. I've been debating for a while as to what I would want to do with my life. For the longest time I wanted to be a teacher, but I've discovered I don't have the patience for it. Then I wanted to be a psychologist, but I didn't like my classes and I decided I didn't want to listen to other people complain all day. Now I'm thinking about English editing because I love books and I love to read, however now that I'm in some English classes I'm discovering that it appears that everyone around me has a great passion for English and mine is only a small flame. My dad suggested that I look into some majors that are offered at UVSC that aren't offered at the Y, however that idea is entirely too daunting to entertain as it means changing everything about my life (including friends, housing and a job not to mention a new campus etc). For a while I decided to just stick with English because I could go on to do other things such as law school, if I so choose. However, after the lecture today about finding your passion I feel like I need to dig a little deeper. And in the immortal words of Billy Joel "only fools are satisfied". So I guess it's back to the drawing board. Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

Dear Jenny--
Join the club!!! I am sure 3/4 of the students on BYU campus are feeling the SAME THING!!! Usually, people "fall" into their major quite by "accident". (Daddy, for example.) Hang in there, and keep exploring and asking questions. Find a job you would like to have, and find out what you have to do to get it. I think you should be the next Sheri Dew. (Marriage, of course, would be good.) But she is the CEO (I think that is her job title) of Deseret Book. What about Library Science (maybe they call it Informational Science, or something like that?) What about being a Journalist, and work your love (like?)of current events/politics into that? Anyway...just some ideas. I will keep praying for you. Love, Mom

Em said...

So Jenny, I've been thinking about this long and hard since you posted it.
It is important to not base your decision on other people's behavior or decisions. Refuse to be intimidated. Dare to try anything that speaks to you, and don't expect to fit in with the fanatics when you aren't one.

College is rough that way. Everyone is trying to carve out their own niche and validate themselves and make themselves sound cool by the depths of their passion for Goethe or Goddard or Geophysics. Don't decide not to do something simply because you're new at it and everyone else seems to be 10 steps ahead.

Make sure you stay in charge of your own life and don't get tossed around on the waves of unintended collegiate peer pressure. The most important thing you can do, degree aside, is stay comfortable in your own skin and continually get to know yourself better. For that to work, your own voice has to be the loudest one in your head.

And for me at least, the actual "major" or "degree" that I left school didn't matter nearly as much as certain classes or professors that I loved and learned so much from.

P.S. You don't want to be like Sheri Dew. Her employees hate her.

Cam said...

Explore and experiment until you find something you find enjoyable most of the time, something that you're reasonably good at, and something that you could make a living at, if necessary. Most people change majors for one reason or another. I did. I found I wasn't good enough at calculus and college chemistry to be a mechanical engineer, so I switched to a Manufacturing Engineering Technology Degree with a CAD/CAM emphasis that had greater involvement with computers, in which I was interested and had some aptitude. After I graduated and got a job, I ended up switching from using computers to do engineering to computer support of people at an engineering company. I agree with Em. Some of my fondest college experiences were general education classes which enabled me to learn more about music appreciation, architecture, philosophy, physics, personal economics, ballroom dancing, and even a scuba diving class.

It *is* a bit scary to not know what you want to do when it seems that everyone around you has it all figured out. Give yourself some latitude to explore and follow your interests and passions. You'll do just fine.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is be glad you are not a boy! The pressure to find a job you love AND makes good money would be so much pressure.
It think it is wonderful to get a college degree. I also think it is important to remember that learning is a life long pursuit. Just because you have a degree would certainly not be the end of all there is to learn. So my humble suggestion is... enjoy the journey! You're having fun and living a good life. The rest will come.
I think you're great!

Anonymous said...

One other thing...I take issue with this being one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Not to scare you, but choosing a spouse is the biggest decision you will ever make. Also choosing to live the Gospel is pretty big and you are doing a great job with that one!
Remind me to tell you about my first impression of the Stephen's cocoa guy sometime. His kids go to my kids school. I thought he was just a big wanna-be. I guess I was wrong. Super nice family, though.

Clay said...

I guess I'm a little late in the post-a-comment world, but normally I'm at least a month behind for everything thanks to med school.

As for advice, I don't have any. I'm almost 25, out of college and still trying to figure out what I want to be.

I'm with Heidi... enjoy the ride.

Miss you jenny

clay and katie may and fam