We’re just trying to help

“You want to be a writer? Good luck with that.”

“Anyone can write. Why did you bother to go to school for that?”

“You should go to law school after graduation.”

“Are you sure communications was a good choice?”

“What do you want to do when you graduate?”

If you’re a student like me, you’re likely to have encountered a similar barrage of questions and unsolicited advice. Everyone in your life seems to know what you should be doing in the future and also likes to tell you what you’re currently doing wrong. Here’s the thing though: It’s your life. You picked your major because you finally found something that grabbed your interest. A few years later, some potential career paths started to sound appealing. That one class or that one professor made an aspect of your major click, and you said, “Hmm … I think I could be happy doing this.”

unsolicted advice

You’re walking around campus knowing that the protection of college won’t last much longer. You’re flipping your calendar to the day marked with a giant “X” and the word “graduation” with sweaty palms, knowing that the real world is not all that far away. All the while, your parents, professors, friends and even third cousins that live in Nowheresville, Kansas, are shouting their advice at you. Of course, they all just want to help. They all have the best of intentions and just want you to be happy. They’ve all been in your shoes before and wished they had someone to guide them. But guess what? You’d be happier without their questions and without their badgering. It’d be so nice to make it through one family dinner without being asked, “What do you want to do when you graduate?”

So what if you want to be an artist? So what if the supposedly dying field of journalism is calling your name? So what if a music degree doesn’t scream success to your family? It’s your life, and you have to face yourself in the mirror every morning. You have to get up and be happy with you’re career. So tell them all to shut up.

I’m graduating in a year, and I still don’t have a 100 percent solid answer on what I want to do. Last year I thought I liked marketing. Now I want to work for a magazine. By the time graduation hits, I could be on a completely different path. That’s what life is about, though. Don’t ever feel locked into a decision or stuck on a course. Do what makes you happy. For me, the idea of going to law school makes me want to vomit. People think I love school because I’m good at it, but I hate the stress and anxiety it causes. While going to law school might mean that I would make more money than my husband one day and be seen as a success, I’m going to leave the pant suits to Hilary Clinton and continue pursuing my passion for writing. And guess what? If that passion changes, IT’S OKAY!


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