When Major Things Don't Go According to Plan

I'm having a major crisis right now.  And by that I mean, a crisis relating to my major.  As in, what if I don't want to study International Studies for the next three years?  As in, LOL #freshmanproblems.  

After realizing that maybe International Studies isn't my calling, my first thought was: OHMYGODMYFUTUREISRUINEDANDEVERYTHINGISTERRIBLE.  Don't worry, though.  I quickly transitioned into the "nothing-matters-nobody-works-in-their-major-anyway" phase.  I started asserting things like "I don't really need skills or a degree" and "whatever" and "I don't care."

In the early stages of planning my life as a traveling bard, I realized that maybe it isn't the end of the world that I'm having second thoughts about my major.  (I'm full of ground-breaking revelations).  Though I'd heard a rumor that I didn't have to have everything figured out when I got to college and that my Four-Year Plan was probably going to change, it never occurred to me that these comments were for my benefit.  But I was probably the person who needed to listen to these wise words the most.  So, to all of the future freshmen out there:

You probably have everything figured out.  You might even have it down to the semester, in a color-coded chart on Microsoft Excel.  Maybe you know exactly which Grad School Program you want to get into, or which company you want to work for, but--things change.  Things won't work out exactly as you've planned them.  You need to know that:

This is okay.  Things will be okay. 

Don't cry, and definitely don't accidentally break the curtain rod in your room because that will just add to your stress.  Remember that you go to IU, one of the biggest schools in the country with tons of different programs.  Maybe your first major was a miss, but your true love is bound to be here, somewhere.  In the immortal words of Avril Lavigne, keep holding on.  We're gonna make it through (make it through).

For the first 18 or so years of our lives, everything has been relatively planned-out.  It's fairly easy to see where we're going.  In college, things become a bit unclear.  You can see graduation, but it's a little fuzzy, and anything beyond that is undecipherable.  After graduation, you're no longer on a clear track.  Your life isn't divided into digestible chunks anymore.  It's not quite as predictable as it was in high school, when you might have the same exact schedule every day, every week, every year.

Planning is important, but so is flexibility.  The optimal solution is planning to be flexible.  Plan for plans falling through and not working out.  Plan for being okay with that, and realizing that just because things aren't "on-track," your life is no less meaningful or valuable.  No matter what you do you can probably figure out some way to be happy.  

In other words, don't PANIC!

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