My cousin confided in me that he wanted to attend nursing school. Naturally, one would say, “Really, that’s a great idea.” Furthering one’s education is always a positive endeavor. But my response was the furthest from the conventional norm. Confused at why I was so unsupportive, he walked away reevaluating his decision. Let me explain. My cousin is one of the best cooks I know. He takes pride in hosting delectable seven course meals for the entire family and specializes in dishes outside of your ‘everyday food.’ Furthermore, he hates hospitals, doesn’t like being around the sick, and is not the typical four to five year college type. While he was blinded by dollar signs, he could not focus on his ultimate passion, or as Suze Orman says, “Stand in his truth.” Soon afterwards, he enrolled in a culinary arts program and graduated with flying colors and without the burden of student loan debt accumulated by an ill-fitted nursing degree.
Financial freedom is the ideal, not reality, of all college students. Everyone would like to reap the rich financial rewards of the “ideal” job, but truthfully, all jobs and pay are not created equal. Some of the most rewarding careers are those that do not pay well. On the contrary, some of the most lucrative jobs are emotionally taxing. So the student must negotiate student loan payback (keeping in mind student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt), quality of life, and personal satisfaction when declaring a major. Since repaying student loan debt is mandatory and cannot be forgiven through declaring bankruptcy like all other debt, utilizing wisdom by avoiding unneeded loans towards misfit majors is the best way to go. Although majors can be changed, it is important to know yourself and have a good idea of what you want before valuable years of your life are sacrificed to the ’education gods.’
It would be less than fair to conclude this blog by leaving out helpful tips to navigating your way towards a satisfying major, so here they are. The first step is to -Do it for you. Many parents want to boast that their son or daughter is a doctor or lawyer, when law and medicine is not the career the student wants to pursue. You will have to do this job for the rest of your life or for a significant amount of time, so it is important to do what interest you. The second step is to-Participate in on the job training. This is a no-commitment effort to see how a ‘day-in-the-life’ in a respective industry would be. For instance, spending a day with a pathologist confirmed that was not the career for me and helped me avoid wasting valuable time and money. The third step is to-Consult with your college’s career development center. They have several free instruments to link personality type and potential career interests. In the same junction, they also have connections to organizations seeking interns. This will give students an extended view of working in the field. Although many are not paid, they are rich in experience and they will save students a lot of money and time- two commodities that are very scarce in the 21st century. Your tuition has already paid for you to access these resources, so you might as well take advantage of them. The last step is to- Network with professors that teach in your respective area of interest. Although academics are teaching at your college, many of them have ties to individuals in related occupations in the real world that may be of interest to you. In the current job market, networking is just as essential as your actual degree because relationships are crucial to landing a fruitful job lead and getting your resume into the right hands. Utilizing the above tools will not only assist students in making the “major decision,” but also position them to be competitive and viable in this global market.
Posted By: Ladel Lewis
Thursday, May 10th 2012 at 8:30AM