University Majors: Making Decisions We Can Barely Handle

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It’s quite unfortunate that teenagers around the world are expected to know exactly what they want to achieve in life with so little experience. Here’s what I went through.

Artwork by Alia AlFalasi (Instagram: @Artsyroom_, Twitter: @itsalfalasii)

Throughout my entire 12 years of education, I have never been in a more vulnerable position than I had been in May of 2018. When I finally chose to confide in who I thought were experienced adults, more than a handful of these people simply blinked their eyes in confusion. I’m an A student armed with knowledge, passion, and love from those around me, what can I possibly be so afraid of? The answer to that question would be: making decisions. Just how in the world am I, barely an adult and exposed to virtually nothing, supposed to decide on the path I am to dedicate the rest of my life to?

It hasn’t been long since my classmates and I were huddled over a table together and debating our plans for the next four years. Some would smile proudly and declare “Medicine, I’ve always thought about it.” Others would shrug and say, “Let me pray to God and find out what’s in store for me.” I, on the other hand, was lost but definitely not without an answer. I adored the righteousness of law, the heroism of medicine, the soulfulness of psychology, and the controversy of political sciences. I had too many answers, and somehow, I still didn’t feel 100% confident with any one of them. I was scared of wasting four years of my life over a dream that will never yield success in the real world.

I was already plagued with the tendency of stressing over any issue that crossed my head, regardless of its actual value. So, imagine the internal catastrophes that wrecked my being throughout my entire grade 12 thinking about my potential career, and then imagine the obliteration of my brain in May. We were all oblivious to why our career counselor didn’t understand that a 10-minute personality quiz online isn’t going to fix the problem. “Just go ahead and study what you’re most passionate about.” Well, I’m very passionate about the fine arts but I failed the subject in Grade 10, so that isn’t the wisest thing to do, is it? I was only one of the many girls who now doubted the phrase: “Follow your dreams”. This is not to say that following one’s dream is impossible, but just a bit more complicated for me in this technology-oriented world.

University applications were now due in a couple of days, and I was still stuck in a moral dilemma. I started asking myself, “What is the best thing to do?” as opposed to “What is the right thing to do?”. I was trapped between focusing on majors that promised better money or majors that promised to fulfil my passions. Thankfully, I wasn’t fighting this war alone, my parents were my most trusted allies. My dad enlightening me with strategy and my mom providing me with an infinite supply of support.

It was until after my first year of university that I finally digested my father’s advice. A cake baked in an oven that doesn’t function will never be cake. It sounded silly at first, but I realized that if I lied to myself now and threw myself into a field just for the sake of securing a job in the future, I will never be special.

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