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The Campanile

High schoolers don’t need their lives planned out

Art by Meya Gao

Filling out college applications is a daunting process. With every page, we are seemingly confronted with deciding what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Each click on the Common Application website feels like a defining decision, but do any of us really know what we want to do for the rest of our life?

While many high schoolers feel the pressure to say they know what their future is going to look like, they don’t need to.

One of the most important things to realize when applying to colleges is they all understand that high schoolers can be impulsive and dumb. Colleges don’t expect you and your underdeveloped frontal lobe to plan ahead 30 years from now.

This is why a majority of colleges allow students to wait until the end of their sophomore year of college to declare their major. To the class of 2022: if you choose to go to a four-year college, you still have two more years to even declare a major. Take that time to explore new fields of study, pick up new hobbies and figure out what interests you.

College is a place to learn more about yourself. In the next two years, you may find your current intended major is not something you want to pursue as a career. Maybe in these next two years, you’ll realize you want to become an artist instead of a marine biologist.
You likely have not experienced enough in life to know what career you want to pursue, and colleges do not expect you to have figured out what you want to study from a handful of high school classes.

Even if you think you know what you want to do, there’s a strong likelihood your career plan will look different in two years. You probably don’t know enough about yourself yet to be sure
about your future.

College is the perfect opportunity to figure out what you want to do. Your parents might already have a career in mind for you, but it’s important to recognize it’s your decision, not theirs.

You might be pressured to major in a subject with a high-paying starting salary, but are you passionate about it? Remember you only have one shot at life, so do what lets you achieve your maximum potential — do what makes you happy.

For this college application season, don’t be afraid to apply undeclared. You don’t need to know what you want to do yet, and colleges don’t expect you to know either. If you’re still stuck on the
intended major drop-down box on your Common Application, relax. None of us know what we’re going to do with our lives yet, and that’s A-OK.

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