Navigating the Choppy Waters of College Decisions

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Figuring out a college major is not always black and white. In fact, discerning college ambitions and vocational desires is a trial and error process that requires both faith in God and common sense. College is often the beginning of the journey into figuring out what we want to do with our lives. And one of the first major decisions in this journeys is which major to choose.

In his book, Thriving at College, Professor Alex Chediak says, “Not only could there be more than one great major for you, but changing majors in not the end of the world. Better to try something and then have to shift gears if it doesn’t work than to never try something at all.” (Page 199)

In other words, having everything figured out is impossible.  As we venture out and try new things, we discover our God-given personalities and passions, allowing us to purposefully peruse the path He has set before us.

It is not our responsibility to figure out our whole lives by some arbitrary age like 18 or 22. However, it is our responsibility to utilize wisdom and common sense when making immediate decisions that affect our future.

For instance, when I was choosing my college major, my mom was included in the process (after all, she practically knows me better than I know myself). I evaluated both my weakest and strongest areas. I am only mediocre at math and science, but I tend to excel in writing and reading. Thus, even though a career as a computer engineer or marine biologist might be lucrative, I would be miserable due to the math and science foundation required.

I considered a professional writing major, but I am a complete extrovert and want to regularly interact with people in my future career. Therefore, I finally landed on a communications major. I see it as a unique way to combine my love for writing and public speaking with interacting with people. Of course, this is always subject to change, but God cannot guide you unless you are moving forward. God utilizes our passions, desires, talents, and strengths to lead us in the direction He has planned for us.

Now, at this point, I do not fully know what this major will entail. I could start the program, discover that I need to readjust, and turn down a different route. But that is okay. Again, trial and error is not a terrible route when figuring out your future.

Avoid making decisions for your future self, way down the road. Rather, choose to make logical, wise, God-led decisions in the here and now and be flexible to make needed adjustments. God does not stop leading us when we make a mistake or misstep. Rather, He promises to continue His guidance everyday of our lives. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way. But the Lord directs his steps.”

 

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