I’ve always been a firm believer that most people don’t know what they want to do by the mere age of 18. This has been a huge debate for a long time coming between teens that aren’t so sure about college, and their parents who disagree with them. Of course, parents only want the best for their children. They want them to do better than them in every aspect. They want their children to discover the cure for cancer. And above all, they want them to be happy. 

    When I was 18 and heading off to college, I was pretty sure of what I wanted to do with my life. Did I feel that I picked something because I had to go to school? Perhaps, but hey, who cares! I was going to be learning about something that I admired and wanted to do for the rest of my life. The decision seemed straightforward. Choose what I love to do, go to school for it and live the rest of my life doing a job that I adore. However, I quickly learned that if I was going to finish school, I had to choose a different path in life. Thus began the long, and still continuing, pursuit to finding the right major for me. I take comfort in knowing that this is common for college students and I can't help but wonder if it comes back to being forced to make decisions too early in our lives.

If someone would have told me that I was going to change my major three times, and then end up taking a year off of school, I would have told them they were insane. Yet here I am, almost finishing up my year long hiatus from college, still trying to decide what I want to major in. For some people, the answer of what they want to do for the rest of their life is clear. They go to school with no problem and go on to be whatever they set their mind to. For others, like me, we're still trying to figure ourselves out and there's nothing wrong with that. One of the best pieces of advice I received was from my mom. She told me that life isn't a race. It doesn't matter if it takes me five more years to finish school and figure out what I want to do. As long as I've finished what I've started. 

Making a decision about your future can be overwhelming. I often think that my life would be very different, had I not been force fed the idea of attending college right after high school. I'm thankful for the opportunity, though. It's made me realize a lot about myself. I'm slowly starting to figuring out what I want to do with my life and my degree. I can't help but think of others out there that may be in the same boat but have no support system. It's okay to take a step back in life and re-evaluate everything. Everybody is different for a reason and nobodies life is going to match up or even go as planned. Need to take some time after high school to find you? Go ahead! Need to change your major five times? So be it. Life really isn't a race and I think that we need a reminder of that sometimes. You need to check-in with yourself and make sure you're happy. Your mental state of mind is just as important as your physical state.

No matter where you are in your life, please make sure you're happy. If you aren't happy, start planning out the next steps to change whatever aspect is bringing you down. Start looking for a new job, move out of the town you're in, go back to school, start your life-long dream as a painter. Disregard everything people have told you that didn't pertain to you finding your happy place.