Coincidently (or maybe not?) we've watched Toy Story 3 at least five times this week. Pixar movies notoriously make me weepy anyhow, but now that I have my own "Andy" this particular movie gets me even more. And it got me thinking about my own kids going off to college (although light years away at this point). And then it got me thinking about when I went off to college, and what I wish someone had told me beforehand.
|My preschool grads . . .|
People are going to tell you a lot of things about what college will be like. Most of it will be horrible advice. Here's how it will really go down:
Anyway, everyone will make a big deal about what you are going to school for . . . as if your choice of major will determine your future career and job security for the rest of eternity. Tip: It will not. The best advice I could give is to start college without declaring a major. Give yourself a chance to figure out what *you* want to do. Take classes you are actually interested in and that you will excel at . . . not courses you think you "should" take or that someone else thinks you would be "good" at. If you want to spend your first year at college taking electives in languages, anthropology, literature, basket weaving, and yes, even biology, by all means do so. Don't let anyone convince you that if you don't fill up your freshman year with core classes for a specific field of study you will be woefully behind. That's why college takes at least four years to complete. There's lots of leeway.
|Me (right) and my BFF, 1990|
Eventually you will discover your passion lies with psychology, specifically social psychology. You will have grand ideas about earning a PhD, working as a counselor, and and then becoming a college professor. You will come up with a plan for all the fabulous education- and career-related things you are going to do before you grow old. You know, like thirty.
This will not happen. You will work paycheck-to-paycheck jobs for a while, a long while. Someday you will start grad school and never finish it. You will give up when you are just a few credits away from your master's degree. You will move across the country to marry a man you shouldn't be with and will later divorce. This will all be very expensive and emotionally painful, and you will have nothing to show for it.
|Me with my loves in Pisa, Italy|
So, please . . . enjoy your college days; you can't get them back. Do something you love, not what other people think you should be doing. Now that I think about it, this is probably good advice for life in general.