I Have a Bachelor’s Degree and Don’t Know What to Do with It
The Things No One Prepares You For
I had always thought my life would be this smooth, linear path that would have one clear outcome. You know, go to college, graduate, get a job in my field, have a stable income, move out of my parents’ house, get married, and who knows maybe even start a family?
I did the first two things on that list (woohoo!) and the rest gets a little complicated...
See I always thought I wanted a career in the medical field. I had studied nutrition, food, and exercise as my major. After graduation I quickly took a job as a medical receptionist and soon after, as a medical assistant. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was totally miserable and hated everything about my job. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, but this was not it.
After some long conversations with family and friends, explaining my change of heart, I was worn out, discouraged, and felt like a complete failure. It felt like I had wasted a lot of time and money studying something I didn’t even want to pursue as a career anymore. I was miserable and stressed out by my job, and had no direction of what I actually wanted to do.
So begins the job hunting. Every day for me consists of applying to multiple jobs online or in person, attending interviews, and extensively researching my choices. I’m kind of starting from square one. But after months of crippling anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and fear, I’ve actually learned a lot.
First of all, my case isn’t unique by any means. A lot of college grads don’t even end up getting jobs related to their field of study. I could see that just by following up with some of my old friends, and hearing that they were actually in similar situations! I wasn’t alone, and that felt really comforting to me.
Along my journey getting to where I am now, I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting amazing professionals and getting invaluable perspective. Some changed their careers much later in life. Some went back to school and followed their passions. But ultimately, they were all following different walks of life and doing it their own way.
When all is said and done, we only have one life to live. And I’ve learned that you really can’t spend it living for someone else, or their expectations. Otherwise, you’ll end up absolutely miserable. Sometimes you just have to breathe, clear your head, and take things one small step at a time.
And that’s okay.