It Is Okay to Not Know What You Want to Do

Sydney, one of our graduating seniors, discusses how Arts and Sciences has instilled in her a true passion for learning, a quality she hopes to take with her to whatever field she ultimately decides to pursue.

By Sydney Mann ’18, American Studies major, English minor

To be quite honest, I’ve been faced with the question “what are you doing after graduation?” more than—at this point—I would have wanted. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an easy, very warranted question. It’s just that, after four years, it has taken me a long time to get comfortable with the notion that I don’t know what I am doing….just yet.

Being a student in the College of Arts and Sciences has taught me many things. On a very practical level, work in Government, English, and History have endowed me with sharp writing and analytical skills. Yet, beyond utility, the College of Arts and Sciences, with its passionate professors and intellectually curious students, have imbued in me a passion for learning; a passion that has led me to try classes I would have never imagined myself taking, a passion that I can take to any field I choose to go into after graduation.

This past year, I sat down with Careers Services in the College of Arts and Sciences. My biggest regret, I can say, was not taking advantage of their services sooner. I say that because their empathy, understanding, and resources enabled me to pinpoint what track I should be on. I was told early on that I most likely would not have a job within my area of study until after graduation. I was okay with that, and my supportive career counselor helped me be okay with it. Instead, she connected me with Alumni with whom I could discuss what I was passionate about and discover where I could go in the future.

It has taken me four years to fully learn, but the College of Arts and Sciences has taught me that it is okay to not know what you want to do; it is okay to not have a job upon graduation. In fact, most students don’t graduate with a job–not because of merit but simply because they are waiting for that opening that satisfies what they are passionate about. Timing is everything, and I am happy to see where my path leads in the future.