College planning for dummies. I’d like to investigate such a book if it exists because I think I qualify for the level below dummy, as in I’m not sure the book could even remedy my ineptness. I only wish I was joking…
I won’t bore you with the details, but within the past year, while finishing out my associates of science, I’ve gone from pursuing dentistry, to chiropractic, back to dentistry, to my fallback, physical therapy, and finally to my actual major, which you’ll discover shortly.
Several years ago my grandma had a knee replacement, and after I tagged along to a few of her therapy sessions I became intrigued with the art of restoring people to health. I wasn’t completely in love with it, but I knew medical fields make a good career and I do believe PT is a critical part of recovery, so I stuck with it. Besides, I had all of the prerequisites already, so why not?
I was so frustrated with deciding on a major that I had barely considered which college to attend, so literally only months before the next semester started I began college searching. I applied to at least four schools, changed my mind weekly, and finally because I just needed to decide I landed on Olivet Nazarene University, the most highly recommended to me. The decision started to solidify and in early June my mom and I left last minute for a two day new student orientation event. It was okay, not exactly the living situation I was expecting, but what’s college if you don’t experience a little claustrophobic dorm life?
I got my classes, paid my fees, decided on my roommate, and was all set to go. But even greater than the so-so dorm situation was my disappointment with the choir. My mom has always awed me with the experiences and trips she had being a part of her college choir at Judson University, and over time it became a dream of mine to do the same thing. I didn’t really like Judson when we attended a friend’s senior exhibit a while back, but the lure of the choir stuck in my mind. Olivet’s choir is fantastic, I’m sure, but they don’t travel across the United States and the oceans like Judson, and while that’s not what I’m going to school for I still want to squeeze absolutely everything that I can out of my “college experience.” That’s what I’m paying all the money for, right?
So a month before classes started I applied to Judson. I visited the campus and signed up for classes, and a week later my mom and I drove there to move me in. I bawled. My mom was leaving me, I suddenly felt so unsure of my major, and I didn’t see the point of going to school if I wasn’t passionate about what I was studying. “All the time in the world” was suddenly gone and I was up against a brick wall. There wasn’t any more time to mess around. I prayed, cried a lot, and scoured my brain for an answer. What did I love to do? The only thing that continually prodded my mind was writing, something I had considered before, but also had been discouraged about by others who feared I would end up starving on the streets as some measly journalist.
I was miserable, though. I didn’t even want to be at school, a place I usually thrive, and it was eating me alive. I shared my insecurity with one of my friends, and together we saw God work as the next workshop we attended was about exploring majors and discovering what you are truly meant to do. Saturday, two days before school started I went to the registration office and officially left Exercise and Sports Science to become an English writing major. I was jittery with fright, but the excitement that gripped me assured me that God hadn’t steered me wrong. I was giving up two years of laboring through difficult science classes, but it suddenly didn’t matter.
Too many applications, tears, and indecisions later, I can now say that I love my classes and my school and I don’t regret a single thing. I didn’t take the conventional route, per usual, but I know that God was forcing me to rely on His plan and that every indecision and stressful event was for my good. I completely understand how terrifying it is not knowing what you want to do with your life, but in my experience, needing to have a plan brings way more stress than relief, and I am convinced of the the truth from Woody Allen: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” He is in control. He will provide. That is all we need to know.