Check out The Crown, the student news magazine at Regina Dominican High School, and read this teen’s opinion article on college choices. What kind of information would help you make your college decisions?
Deanna Stone, Lifestyle Editor
High school seems to be a time of constant change. With each new year, we change our classes and some of our extracurricular activities, and inevitably both our friend groups and our aspirations for the future differ from the prior year. For anyone who does not particularly like change, myself included, all these changes are frankly a bit overwhelming.
Throughout high school, there is change all around us, and this will not end anytime in the near future. That being said, in high school we are prodded to make several concrete decisions, all within a short period of time. We have to choose which college to attend, what majors and careers most interest us, and not to mention, come up with some sort of working plan that will carry us on for the rest of our lives.
This is not to say that if a poor decision is made that we can’t change our minds or get a second chance. However, we are pressured to make choices in high school that we believe in at the time. Yet, how does one possibly make such choices if we aren’t even sure what we are passionate about or what we believe in?
It’s always a good idea to have a plan–most of us wouldn’t go on a vacation without making arrangements before the trip, right? Nevertheless, high school students nowadays are only focused on the “plan” for their life. We ﬁgure out our colleges to attend even if we never visited them, what our majors are going to be before even committing to a college, and what our lives will be like. We do this within the span of a couple of years, before most of us have even turned 18!
This is not to say that we shouldn’t have an idea of what we want to pursue in life, but we shouldn’t be required to know exactly what our major is and where we see ourselves after college. There are pressures from all diﬀerent directions that force us to make these quick decisions, and these snap judgements often lead us to change our minds in the future anyway.
This isn’t a new phenomenon–if you ask the adults in your life about their life plans when they were our age, they will most likely tell you that it was very different than the life they lead now. That is just the nature of life–plans change, people travel on unexpected pathways. So, why then, are teenagers, the most fickle people around, forced to make so many MAJOR decisions so blindly and quickly that may affect our futures for years to come?
According to a Penn State academic advising journal, it has been estimated that 75% of college students change their majors at least once in their college careers.
This number is staggering, and scary to think about if college is right around the corner. However, a calming aspect of this figure is that those having trouble declaring a major are not alone; many others are trying to figure it out as well.
Yes, we should have dreams and aspirations for our future, but we do not have to write them in stone. Most of the time, in four years, those dreams will be completely different than what they are now.
In conclusion, one solution for the indecisiveness we all feel is quite simple– give us more time! A choice that affects the rest of our lives should not be determined in a matter of weeks or months. These choices should take time and reflection on our character and our dreams. Even then we can never be sure about the path we choose until we try it out.
There are many ways to do this that won’t break the bank or our sanity– we could spend a gap year working or on missionary work. We can spend time in our high school senior year on a capstone project that lets us try out or visit a few areas we may be interested in. We could go to a community college, where costs aren’t so expensive, and try out a class or two. Whatever we decide, we need a little time to figure out what we are passionate about, and learn to understand that it’s okay if our initial college and major are not the ones we stick with for the next four years. After this understanding, the big decisions that each of us will have to make will not seem so stressful, but they will be the natural progression to achieving our dreams.