Choosing a major and career path can be a concern for multi-interested and too-talented-for-your-own-good Lawrence students. The more opportunities for consideration, the more difficult it becomes to focus on fewer interests and pursuits, both during and after college.
Occasionally I hear the advice from adults or peers that “You will figure it all out.” We hear this many times while growing up from people we assume must have figured it out themselves, since they believe this wondrous idea. On the contrary, I do not think that anyone ever has everything figured out, but that is not a reason to worry!
Time slips away while worrying. The concern of not having a major declared or knowing what career path to follow after college is legitimate, but fretting can distract from daily interests and goals. Focusing on present interests enables you to make some of those critical decisions. Instead of quivering in a blanket fort dreading adulthood, or trying so hard to reach some “eureka moment” that your head starts spinning, relax.
Engaging in activities that energize you may lead to the right answers, but even when career planning becomes a continuous anxiety, there are people to reach out to for help. Career Services provides many resources, including advisors and connections with alumni. No Lawrentian needs to seek information alone; there are plenty of ways to prepare for life after college without feeling like Atlas, trudging around campus with the world on his shoulders.
The liberal arts degrees we receive will allow us to adapt to a multitude of work environments. Leaving school, no one will be stuck with the qualifications for only one job. A liberal arts background broadens the scope of career options, as your bachelor’s degree does not bind you. If a job leaves you snoring, knock down the walls of your cubical and branch out to a job you love. The diploma that you will possess will not confine you.
One of my favorite things about the student body at Lawrence is the diversity of the personalities that walk around campus. Leaving the Lawrence Bubble feels surprisingly dull, and I stumble across few people that have the same passion as Lawrentians. We are obsessed with learning and growing. Even after figuring out majors or jobs, there will likely never be a point where we just have it “all figured out,” because having everything figured out would mean having nothing left to learn. Within a new job there will be new skills and goals to strive for, and exhilarating activities can still coincide with careers. If anything, believing you have everything figured out is to be avoided because it eliminates a sense of adventure.
It is too easy to become intimidated by the steps that lead to the workforce after college. Laugh along with the soundtrack of Avenue Q and realize that eventually we will all have to leave college, but do not take the song, “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” too seriously. There are jobs available for English majors, as well as every other major. Lawrence students will find ways to be happy, fulfilling their passions and needs. Take a look around; learning, growing and aspiring to do more is in our nature.