Whether you find yourself at the end of high school wondering about college, half-way through college trying to choose a major, or at the end of college/grad school searching for a job, just about everyone faces decisions they do not feel ready to make. Decisions that determine what you learn and, at the end of school, how you earn your livelihood. For good reasons, we find ourselves sitting at a fork in the road wondering, "What's next?" We wish that someone could provide us with all the answers. Or, some sort of “sign” that leads us to finding the answers.
Will you tell me please, which way I should go from here?
That depends a great deal on where you want to get to, said the cat.
I don’t much care where—, said Alice
Then it doesn’t matter which way you go, said the cat
Well, Mr. Fat Purple Cat, it DOES MATTER. The decisions we make for ourselves, especially in regards to our future, are enormously important. Because of their importance, they feel daunting!
Yes, they’re daunting, but not because there isn’t a college waiting for someone precisely like you, or a major with professors eager to engage your interests, or an opening for a job that needs your skills and expertise. With thousands of colleges and majors and (believe it or not) millions of jobs out there, it’s statistically impossible that the ones with your name on it don’t exist.
Why is that so hard to wrap our heads around? Because we are socialized to believe that in order to get into that university of choice or land that dream job we must “look good on paper;” hence, a resume. Or we must network, because “it’s all about who you know.” But what if these societal norms are leading us down the wrong path? What if they are leading us to a life filled with “Alice and Wonderland” moments? Nobody needs that. What we do need: to choose the path that will get us from where we are now to where we WANT to be in the future. A path that's free of confrontation with a Fat Purple Cat.