Senior year brings us inches closer to the real world. In a few months or so, we’ll be attempting our luck at adulting all while trying to make something of ourselves. But what if you still haven’t figured out what you want to do just yet? Well, we think it’s completely okay if you don’t have a definite game plan for the post-college life, but it wouldn’t hurt to actively start exploring your options.
Here’s why it’s okay if you don’t have life figured out yet, plus a few suggestions on how to find the best career path to take.
Reason #1: Balancing acads with org activities and your everyday social life barely gave you enough time to look at the big picture.
Just because you don’t know what job you really want to pursue yet doesn’t mean your life has no direction—it could be that you were just too focused on the present. And we don’t blame you—it’s easy to get caught up in trying to submit requirements and meet deadlines.
A little tip: Keeping a journal of what you like and don’t like doing, along with what you’re good at may help you identify your career goals and organize your thoughts.
Reason #2: Our interests have changed and so did we.
As we set out on our college journey, we meet new people, encounter novel worldviews, and learn about things we’ve never even heard of before. It’s possible that at some point, you realized that your interests may have shifted. You may find that you’re actually not cut out for medical or law school, or you may no longer be as passionate about your org’s advocacies as you once were, and that’s perfectly okay.
College will change you (it will be surprising if it didn’t!) and, consequently, your dreams and goals in life. At this point, how do you proceed, especially now that shifting is out of the picture?
Option #1: Take advantage of what your school can offer you.
Your school might be able to help you widen your horizons. Some universities hold career fairs for seniors, which can introduce you to a whole world of career options for life after college. Some even hold career talks and offer internship programs (that don’t have to be related to your current course) to help students iron out their career objectives. You may even take an elective about a field that you find interesting and use those credited units to your advantage when you start applying for jobs.
Option #2: Take a gap year.
Some people frown upon taking a gap year and think that it’s a waste of time. But taking a gap year (or two!) helps you get to know yourself more without the pressure of timelines and deadlines. You get to try new things and expose yourself to different options in life. Get a part-time job to learn about a particular industry or look for paid internships that accept fresh graduates. Growing and learning does not stop when you exit college, so don’t feel pressured if you haven’t figured your life out just yet.