At the end of my first semester as a freshman at Elon University, I was overwhelmed with campus opportunities. There were clubs to join, classes to choose and organizations to sift through. I had a lot on my mind.

At first, four years sounds like more than enough time to figure out exactly what you want to do. But as time slips away, important decisions that significantly impact the future feel rushed.

As freshman year turned into sophomore year, I felt myself making decision after decision — quick, impetuous choices. Since I’m terrible at math and science, I ruled out any major that involved taking more than entry-level classes in those subjects.

With hardly any thought at all, I found myself declaring a strategic communications major and creating a path for my entire future — simply because I did not feel I had the time to try anything outside my comfort zone.

Deciding what major to declare feels a lot like deciding your future. That’s a scary thought. In the four short years we have at Elon, we’re pressured to figure out what we want to do for the rest of our lives. As exciting as that is, the future is notall that far away.

Freshman Liz Moran said she doesn’t want to have to choose a major yet because she has so many varying passions and interests.

“I would love to be a marketer for a big business or company, but I would also love to do something in public health,” Moran said. “I feel like I just got here, but it’s already almost my sophomore year. I’ll have to make up my mind sometime soon.”

For some students, choosing a major and life track is simple. People who have always known what they want to do with their lives have no difficulty continuing to follow their initial plans.

I haven’t met many of those people. Most students can’t decide what they want to do because the idea of choosing a future is intimidating.

“I declared a marketing major freshman year because I didn’t know what else I would like,” said sophomore Sarah Mullery. “Just recently, I switched to psychology. Who knows what I will actually end up doing?”

During their first two years of college, students are expected to choose a major and take classes that correlate with that major. But choosing a permanent life path is a big deal. Once you get on a certain track, it is difficult to stop and change directions.

Although the future is exciting, it’s also scary. Making decisions that significantly affect the future is stressful and overwhelming, but finding a career in the field that makes you happy is worth the stress.


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