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Why It’s Okay to Not Know What You Want to Do

Hey there! Today I want to talk about something that a lot of people are afraid or ashamed to talk about when it comes to their career, including myself. Many people when they get into college, throughout college, and even after they graduate, don’t know what to do careerwise. They don’t know what they truly want, or what they want to do. Not everyone has this fear, but a lot of people do, and that is okay.

Today I want to talk about something that a lot of people are afraid or ashamed to talk about when it comes to their career, including myself. Many people when they get into college, throughout college, and even after they graduate, don't know what to do careerwise. And that is okay!

So, is it really okay to not know what you want to do with your career when you’re in college? Yes, it is. It’s assumed that when you go to college, you already know exactly what you want to do with your life and career. That’s a lot of pressure because聽you’re making your college decision in high school, at 16 and 17 years old.

I want to go to college, but I feel this way.

That’s fine, I’m not saying you can’t or that you shouldn’t. I’m saying that I don’t think you should lock yourself into something unless you are 100% passionate about the topic you are going to study. There are options if you’re not quite sure what you want to do with your career. You can start at a community college for the first two years. You can also go undeclared into university and start your general education classes while making a decision. You can also get a liberal arts, or similar, degree that is broad but allows you to study a bunch of interesting topics (this is what I did).

I’m not saying one way is better than another. It all depends on what you want, your financial situation, and what you’re looking to get out of college. It’s okay to be unsure, it’s okay to want to skip a year. In the end, you have to do what is best for you when it comes to your future.

I’m already in college and I feel this way

That’s okay! I definitely wouldn’t ignore the feeling, you’re spending your money on your education and you want to make sure that you’re getting what you want out of it. I suggest seeing your college advisor and your school’s career office. I also suggest talking to people you highly trust. Sometimes our own self-doubt clouds our judgment聽and creates unnecessary worry. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to admit that you feel this way. Time won’t stop moving, you should address this feeling as soon as possible because if you want to switch degrees you want to do that sooner rather than later.

It is okay if you want to change your degree, even if it means more time. Not everyone graduates in four years and that’s okay. Like I said, you need to make sure you get what you need out of your college experience and if that means an extra year, then that means an extra year. That does not make you a failure, it means you’re doing what you need to do, and that is okay!

I’ve already graduated and I feel this way

I know how it feels to doubt the choices you made in college. I know because I still wonder if I made the right choice. Generally, just because you graduated with a certain degree, does not mean you are locked into that career path forever. There may be other paths that are available, and you may be able to get a job in a completely different field. Or, your degree may be able to help you get into Master’s programs you didn’t think of (some don’t have a specific BA/BS requirement). Don’t feel like you’re permanently stuck. If you have a company you want to work for, get your foot in the door there and then find a mentor and talk to people. There are always options for you, you’ll never be stuck unless you allow yourself to be stuck.

The most important thing is that it is okay to not know what you want to do. Do what you enjoy doing, work on improving yourself, being kind, and things will fall into place. Some people will start a whole new career in their 40’s-50’s. Life is crazy sometimes. What you thought you wanted to do at 18 may not be what you want to keep doing at 40.

I know I sound like a broken record saying “it’s okay! It’s okay!” But that’s because it is and I know that there is always shame when it comes to not knowing what you want to do with your future. If you take away anything, just remember that there are always options for you, and to talk to your family and friends. Don’t hold it in, express how you feel to get an objective opinion. Reach out to your resources.

Have you ever felt this way before? I want to hear your stories/opinions!


  1. Geraldine Talks says

    It most definitely is okay! I am in the third scenario… I've already graduated. But I don't think I want to do this for the rest of my life! Now that I've started my blog life I feel much stronger about it. Society puts pressure on you to know what you want to do early or else you'll be a failure! It's so sad.

    • Lauren Albright says

      I feel the same way sometimes, being in the third option. Societal pressure really does have a lot to do with it, and it is sad. I so agree.

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