Changing course: Why it’s okay, and why it’s worth it

ColinOpinion

Everyone has their subtle addictions: Cookie Monster has cookies, Dexter has his lab and murdering people — depending on which Dexter you prefer — Tiger Woods has women who are not his wife and Scarf Boy had choral music. And scarves, obviously, but choral music was his passion, his career, his destiny. He loved it like Romeo loved Juliet, like Helga Pittaki loved Hey Arnold, like a fat kid loves cake. He loved it like.… You get the picture. Scarf Boy loved choral music. So when it came to declaring a major, the answer was clear. What major would allow him to actively participate with and immerse himself in the chordal majesty of a vocal ensemble? Also, what major would allow him to speak with that level of pretension? The answer was clear: music education. Scarf Boy was so set on his career path that he scoffed at anyone who was unsure of their future plans. “I love music,” he thought. “What more is there to think about?”

A lot, stupid.

When his friend passed away, he was told by many that his talents stretched in a different direction than vocal music education. He was destined to help people with their struggles and be a therapist, providing them the help and comfort they needed. He would use his experience with loss to comfort those in similar situations. So when it came to declaring a new major, the answer was clear. What major would allow him to engage holistically in the behaviors and mental processes of others, taking into account their past and present struggles and provide unique, ground-breaking insight capable of altering their lives forever? Also, what major would allow him to speak with that level of pretension? The answer was clear: psychology. Scarf Boy was so set on his career path that he scoffed at anyone who was unsure of their future plans. “I love psychology,” he thought. “What more is there to think about?”

Are you sensing a trend? Scarf Boy went through this process with two additional majors, a temporary “maybe I’ll just get famous!” scare and equal levels of pretension.

Plot twist: I am still scarf boy, and the pretentiousness of these career paths stemmed directly from me, not the departments. Music and psychology have amazing people with amazing life plans, but they just are not suited for me.

What took Scarf Boy a little over three years to figure out was that a “dream job” does not exist for him. At least, not yet. See, the beautiful and wise Kelly Meyer informed me that we shift necessarily from place to place, job to job, bringing our whole selves to whatever work environment we settle upon. So whether I am a waiter at Olive Garden (possible), or the quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings (at this point, also possible. Ha-ha, sports joke!), I will find fulfillment because I will demand it.

I have begun a new journey to find my passions wherever they lie, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Do not be afraid to step off the path you have been walking; you will either find a more fitting path or appreciate the first so much more. I am beyond grateful for this realization and plan to live the rest of my life doing my dream job: anything that brings me joy.

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