Like this spring/winter weather we have been getting, sometimes we have a hard time making up our minds. When I started with AU, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at the end of it. I knew what I hoped to gain, but I wasn’t sure where I would apply it, or how I would apply it.
I hoped I would have it all figured out by the end, but I didn’t. I had an idea, an unrealistic goal (as some would say) and the plan for achieving that changed faster than the weather has been this March (and here, that has been hourly, or just by driving for twenty minutes into the bush). Is it plus ten and sunny, or minus ten and a blizzard?
The thing is, we don’t need to have a concrete plan. The night I enrolled in AU I created a flow chart. Every course I was going to take was plotted (before looking and seeing exactly what the requirements were, and talking to an advisor). I was planning which courses, and which months I would start and finish each one. I guess you could say I was excited to start. But, the plan I made then, while beneficial as I learned which courses I found interesting, was not realistic?not even close.
From that night until the end, the courses I planned to take changed rapidly. Some of the core interest courses stayed the same, but with each new course I took I found a new interest (or an area I didn’t want to spend any more time in). The whole of my course plan changed rapidly?like this weather. My plan to reach my goal since I graduated from AU has changed as well. But being able to shift focus and roll with the weather changes is important. Like dressing in layers this time of year so you can add or subtract as needed, being mentally prepared for a change in direction is important.
If you get too set on one idea, thinking it is going to stay +10 and sunny, then when the blizzard hits you are going to be freezing and wildly unhappy. don’t lose sight of the end goal, your dream destination (be it summer, or winter) but don’t be stubborn with how you get there, pack the layers so you don’t suffer. Keep your options open and allow yourself the chance to change directions if the inspiration strikes you.
Some students can’t decide on a major, their interests change drastically from when they enroll to when they graduate. Sometimes that means taking extra courses to fill credit requirements for the final degree. And that is okay, at least you are finishing with something you are excited about. don’t stick it out with a major just because it is the one you started on. Preferences change, ideas change, and the weather changes. Nothing should be stagnant, keep moving, growing, and changing with it. University is the time to find your place, to find your passion and push for it. You don’t need all the answers once you graduate; you will learn new ways as your focus shifts from completing the program to finding out what that next step is for you.
There is no sense in stressing yourself out if you have changed programs, courses, or found you aren’t interested in a subject like you thought you would be. When the shift comes, when the sun ducks behind that cloud, pull on your hoodie and keep moving forward.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature. Follow her path on the writing journey at https://deannaroney.wordpress.com/