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Jess~ Offline
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Annnnd guess who's panicking? - January 5th 2018, 10:25 PM

As far back as sophomore year I've known people who already had a step-by-step plan of exactly what they wanted in their college plans and career plans. Of course there were some minor changes with those plans, changing a preferred college or switching to a different field in their same major. And of course, some people dropped those plans completely and are freaking out too.
But I have literally never had any idea what I want to do. Senior year (2016-17) was the first time I actually started thinking critically about college. To be 100% honest, I didn't even know what the difference was between an associates degree and a bachelors. I didn't know exactly what a major was. I literally never looked into the subject of college because I never had a clue what I wanted to do, so I kept pushing away all thoughts of it, figuring that one day my entire life plan would just hit me.

Spoiler alert: it never hit me. I feel like I kind of just rushed and chose a major because I didn't know what I was doing, but as always, I'm more comfortable with everyone else thinking I'm okay and have all my shit under control. On the inside I am panicking.
So here are the facts. My current major is psychology and I'm only two classes away from having my major requirements fulfilled. (I went to a middle college for high school so we had to take a college class at the community college down the street. I decided to just keep attending that community college.) But I still need over 10 classes to fulfill my general ed requirements.
I chose psych because it was the first subject to seriously interest me. I'm good at math, but I hate it. I suck at science and I hate it. I'm really good at English, and I like it, but I don't really know of a lot of opportunities for English careers. And I think that's my problem, because I don't see a lot of career opportunities. It seems like no matter what I do, I don't know what careers are out there that I could pursue.
With psychology, I absolutely love it and my psych classes are the only classes I am actually, continuously excited to attend and learn from. But ironically, I know the few careers I could get with it... counselor, therapist, etc. But I just don't know if I would enjoy those. It's just terrifying to put all my money and time into learning about a subject that I don't know if I'll be able to get a job from and if I will even enjoy that job. And yes, my goal is to get a career that I actually do enjoy, while making as much money as I can.

But I just don't know, and it seems like so many people are majoring in psychology, because it's so "easy". My friend didn't know I was majoring in it, and she went on a whole rant about how everyone who is majoring in psych is so stupid because there's not enough room in the job market for all these psych majors and how it's basically a "nothing" degree because it's such easy and basic information. Ouch.
It just interests me so much. I love learning about the brain and how it works and why we do the shit that we do.

Besides psych, my "school" interests are writing and art. But of course I don't like nonfictional writing. No, I like writing poetry and stories. And of course I hate the idea of graphic design -- you know, an art field that could actually get me somewhere. No, I'm the idiot who is in love with physical art, and painting, and expressing my emotions through art.
Literally everything I care about is just a hobby, and it seems like I can't go anywhere with it.
I think that's why I'm sticking with psych. But with all the negativity about it I'm just really questioning it. The other day I was telling my mom how all I care about is art, and I think the best class I took at college was an art class because I got so much better at art because of it. And she started saying that I should just go to art school then. That if I pursue something I'm so passionate about, "god" will open doors to different opportunities and ways for me to advance and find where I need to be.
It's making me tear up a bit even now, because she was the first person I have ever heard to say that. Don't worry, I'm not going to do it. But I just didn't expect it, after years of hearing how all art majors are jokes and just waste their money. How every art student thinks they're so special and have so much to offer, when very few are actually that special.
It's just crazy that she actually believes in me, when my art isn't even that good. I mean, it is good and I know I have good ideas, and I'm good at conveying messages through my art. But it's not the kind of good that will actually get me anywhere. I doubt there will be a time where people actually want to buy my pieces and I'll be a well known artist.

I'm just really scared. I'm starting to think in terms of catastrophe and believe that nothing is for me and that I'll be stuck working my hellish minimum wage job forever.
It might help to find internships working in psychology fields, but do those even exist? I just don't know what to do or what to expect and college seems meaningless if I don't have a plan.

i don't know what i'm supposed to do
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Re: Annnnd guess who's panicking? - January 6th 2018, 07:48 PM


I'm so sorry that you're feeling like this. However, it's something that possibly every student goes through at some point, so know that you are not alone in this. I've had similar concerns about my path in my law degree, and a close friend has switched from law to psychology, so this is a pretty common thing. I'm sure that there's someone like a career counsellor or academic advisor who you could speak to who will be able to help you.

Regarding not knowing if psych is what you want to go into, try speaking to psychologists that you know to find out what the job is really about. If possible, maybe you could volunteer at a clinic when you have more experience in the field to get a taste of what it is like. There are many different ways to apply a psychology degree, so do some research into what else you could use it for.

The same applies to English. If you love writing, then study a course on writing, whether it be creative, journalism, or academic. You can research into careers that may use these are their core skills. You could even try to match it with your psychology skills and work as a publishing researcher instead of as a hands-on counsellor.

It's a daunting thing to contemplate life after school, especially career choices. However, that is not something that you have to face alone. There is a wealth of information available that you can use to help you. I'm sure you will find something that you love doing to work as. Good luck!
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Re: Annnnd guess who's panicking? - January 6th 2018, 08:47 PM

I'm not sure if this is going to help much, but I don't think that you necessarily need a plan. It's good to have a few ideas and see where things take you, but even a plan can often change. It's also important to remember that whatever you study and whatever type of career you want to pursue, there is never a guaranteed job at the end of studying. I think a lot of the jokes about art students staying in minimum wage jobs and not studying a 'real' degree may be quite biased. Many students, regardless of what they studied, start off in minimum wage jobs while looking for other opportunities that interest them. There's no shame in that!

Is there a way you can combine both art and psych studies? You could become an art therapist, if that interests you. In general, it can help to think outside of the box, and looking at jobs that may relate, even loosely, to what you are interested in.

I'm not sure if there are psychology internships available, but it's worth finding out! Though equally, if art is something you are really passionate about and interested in, don't be put off by what others joke about when it comes to art students. Talk to people who actually know the subject and see what they say, whether that's current or former students, teachers, or anyone who works in that industry. Also, if you have one, talking to a careers advisor may help as well.

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