Tuesday, July 9, 2013

University Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

I've changed my major four times in the past two years. Seriously though, I’m naturally indecisive. I struggle with choices as simple as where to go out to eat or what to watch on YouTube. Hold your chuckles- according to this article the average adolescent person is typically indecisive about huge life decisions, because it means you can’t have BOTH options in question. We are silly things.

(Speaking of silly, just in case you were looking at adorable animal pictures on Google Image and now you have to choose whether or not to read this or look at baby ducks, let me help you out by supplying adorable baby animal pictures for this post. In other news, research shows that looking at baby animals increases your productivity. So you’re welcome.)

Baby skunk in LA Times Blog

So how do we find this mysterious EASY button? I have no idea. But I can help with my personal experience of being an indecisive lifer. Here are some tips that I've picked up after finishing my first couple years of college.

1) Find your skill set: 
What did you get complimented on during high school, college, or at your first jobs? Was it your killer writing ability, your mathematical prowess, your creative instinct, or good work ethic? Think about what YOU are good at, and find a major that could suit your strong points. Try filling out a personality test  designed to narrow your potential professions, or talk to a school counselor for an unbiased opinion.

Baby giraffes are cute

2) Cash VS Fulfillment:

This is a huge question that everyone asks themselves, and if you are like me, you get asked by your parents. Often. Be honest with yourself.  I love having money and working for it. In fact, a recent study actually suggests that money is the key to happiness, popular to contrary belief. But I also enjoy having a job where I want to go in to work every day. Know that sometimes you will have to make a choice between having money or fulfillment. In some instances you will have both, and it will be AWESOME.

Baby grey langur monkey

3) Time investment:

Does your degree practically require you to go to graduate school or to get a Ph.D. before you can have your dream job? Think about how much scholastic stamina you have, and if getting your Master’s or Ph.D. will be worth it to you. However, please do not just assume that you HAVE to have a Master’s degree before your Bachelor’s will be worth anything. But if you want to be a doctor, you can bet you’ll be in school for a cool dozen, so be prepared.

Via Edgeoftheplank

4)Don’t let your parents make your decisions:

I REPEAT. DO NOT LET YOUR PARENTS MAKE YOUR DECISIONS. This was the hardest thing to learn for me. Your life and your decisions are only going to affect you in the long run, so be super conscious of that. In fact, there have been studies done by psychologists from the University of Rochester saying that parent’s influencing decisions for you is bad news bears.

“Tasks that are extrinsically motivated drain energy and willpower. Over time, they become harder and harder to continue. The effect is so subtle that even societal pressure — for example, a major being generally understood to be a practical choice — can act as extrinsic motivation, making an activity increasingly hard to continue.”
So don’t be that kid that let their parents decide what their major was. Tell them that it is your job to study and to work really hard at your coursework, but be clear that what you choose to get the degree in is up to you.

5) Don’t stress too much, it’s all about the degree:

Last but not least, remember that the main thing your degree signifies is the bare, unadulterated FACT that you finished something! You made a huge decision and stuck to it! You’re awesome for dedicating years of your life for this piece of paper. Countless hours were spent, a coffee addiction was endured and beaten, you haven’t bought a new pair of shoes in over two years, and you got over sicknesses with fancy Ramen and Nyquil. You survived all of that, and you passed every class requirement!  BOOM. You’re awesome. Don’t forget it.

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