When I graduated from high school I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do: attend the University of Arkansas and then go onto pharmacy school. Well, some of that happened, but not quite the way I thought it would. I am graduating from the University of Arkansas, but not with a degree preparing me for pharmacy school.
During my first semester, I bombed pretty much every class I took. I was clearly not cut out to study science or math. It just wasn’t in the cards for me.
I quickly started skimming over a long list of degrees. Searching for the ones that had the least science and math requirements, I realized, that was most art degrees. So, after major-hoping a few times, I found my passion in graphic design and photography.
My sure-fire plan of being a pharmacist went south really fast, and there I was, in a field that wasn’t even on my radar when I entered college. If I would have been aware of my passions upon entering, and not so focused on a high paying career, college would have been a much less stressful experience.
Having gone through all of this chaos of finding my passion, I can provide knowledge to a younger generation about being aware of who you are and what you truly love.
In this course I am currently taking, Liberal Arts at Work: A Professionalization Workshop, I have taken two career assessments, Strengths finder and Type Focus. From the result of Strengths finder, I became aware that I am very flexible, creative, self-disciplined, enthusiastic, and a visionary. With Type Focus I found out that a career in teaching, arts, counseling or public relations was appropriate for my personality. I also realized that I have a desire to help others in an imaginative way.
Now, I was not entirely taken aback by the things I have listed above. I feel like I know myself pretty well, and those things sound like my personality. But, I was so unaware of how all of that information could transfer over into a career.
“We are taught that the beginning and end of your journey to success revolves around a single idea. Liberal arts programs give you the opportunity to not limit yourself to one answer. They teach us that life isn’t an equation. If you have an idea that is outlandish or crazy or may just fail, take a chance and see it through.”
This snippet from USA Today College article, Viewpoint: 4 reasons the liberal arts degree is underrated, reveals that there is no one “right answer” to success and that what you major in should open your future up to any career you truly desire, not just the typical ones.
A real life example of this is talked about in Sheila Curran and Suzanne Greenwalds’ book, Smart Moves For Liberal Arts Grads, where they portray Warren’s winding career journey. Warren had many different passions but the most persistent one being cooking. Having already been in college and headed towards law school, Warren was unaware of the possibility of his love for cooking being a potential career choice. He proceeded in the field of law and ended up in Washington where he discovered how unhappy he really was and started to bake. Warren’s baking hobby later turned into a very successful career and he couldn’t be happier with where he is now.
I can relate to Warren’s story by having to make the tough decision of making a lot of money or being extremely happy. In choosing to be happy and find a field that I am passionate about, I have opened myself up to a vast array of career options.
If I could give incoming freshmen one piece of advice, it would be to come into college with an open mind and explore every avenue that interests you. You will be surprised at where your career takes you. Enjoy it!