“You know there are no jobs for lawyers right now?” “What are you going to do with a communications degree?” “Do you really think you can make it through med school?”
We’ve all had someone take a backhanded slap at our college major or career aspirations. Are they jealous haters? Not usually. They’ve probably been out in the work force longer than you have and they understand the realities of a competitive world. But should you listen to them? Not always.
Take advice, but know that these people aren’t you. Don’t waste your time listening to people list the reasons of why being a fashion major is ridiculous. Actually, listen to them, but only to motivate you. If you want something, go out and get it.
Last year, someone asked me, “How was studying abroad last semester?” I wasn’t abroad. I was studying for the LSAT five hours a day while taking a full course load. True story. Spending the night in a lab, library, or studio isn’t fun. But it does amount to something more than a piece of paper. There are a million sayings about hard work and success, and they’re all true. Dreams come in the form of hard work, no matter what you decide to study. A pre-med student without the desire to be the BEST pre-med student he or she can be will be far worse off than an English major with ambition.
If you know what you want to be in five years, why are you wasting your time asking a family friend with a medicine degree what you should major in?
People will always tell you why you shouldn’t do something, whether it be about men, careers, or purchases. These people should all be forced to hold a sign that says, “I’m not you. I don’t know how far you’re willing to go to get what you want, or how badly you want something. I’m offering you my opinion based upon my outside perception of you and your situation.” Do you need outside opinions? Sure. But should you follow them, blindly, without any respect to yourself or to your own intuitions? No. The only person on the planet who knows the lengths you’re willing to go to get what you want is you.
Advice is simply that. If being a freelance writer in Mexico gets you excited about life, buy a ticket and go. If saving lives and being a chemist or a doctor is what you wake up for every morning, spend all your time in the lab. Being in college is about finding that feeling and running with it. It’s not about wandering from idea to idea until you settle quietly into a mediocre life. It’s about using the education and resources you have to find that feeling, then making it your own.
Listen to how people talk about their goals. Listen to how people delve out advice about your future engineering career. People giving advice probably want you to succeed; they want you to know what they know now. Listen, but don’t let it put out your flame.
Whatever you do, don’t give up any goal or dream just because someone said it isn’t likely. If someone tells you no, don’t listen. Smile and move on. Find the group of people who will cheer for you 100 percent of the time. They’re probably the same crowd that will be in the stands when you receive your degree.
There are 1,500 academic programs to choose from at 4,495 universities, and there are 20.3 million students making it happen in EVERY area of study.