College: Being lost is a good thing, I promise

When I first came to the University of Oregon I came here as an architecture student (crazy, I know). I loved it and I was really good at it, too! I got A’s on all my projects and my professor used my final project as an example for his other classes. I felt really good about myself and I thought college was a breeze because it was terrifyingly simple and fun.

It wasn’t until I had to do a creative writing assignment for one of my architecture classes that all this changed.

My assignment was to pick a place I had traveled to in the past and describe it in the best way I could in 4,000 words. I think I had too much fun with this assignment, I spent hours looking at photos, reading journal entries I wrote during my trip and searching for inspiration from other writers and I ended up going over the word count by nearly 1,500 words. Sure, architecture gives you the opportunity to be creative and innovative, but I came to find that writing had no limits at all. You can only lay out equations, design and alter a structure so many times before it is unable to stand alone. Words, on the other hand, are completely versatile, they mean something different to each person reading them, they can be deleted, erased or added to. I fell in love with words and the power they hold. I wanted to help people through words.

So, I changed my major. I figured I could be a psychology major and work with children who were suffering with childhood cancers. When my step mother was diagnosed with cancer, my interest with diseases and cancers sparked an inspiration in me to help others in any way I could. I started my psychology classes but soon realized that I didn’t have a voice in this major. All it included was learning how to speak to people to get them to open up to me. That isn’t what I wanted.

So again, I changed my major. I began to think of things that would really let me do what I wanted with my life. Before opening a gun store on Maui, my mom was a teacher and I always admired her for it. I remember all the stress her students would cause, but she kept at it because she truly believed in helping them succeed. I thought I could be a teacher so I went into the education department for a meeting with an advisor. There they told me everything I already knew but I was excited to get started with classes because I was getting close to my junior year in college and I still had not stayed with a major. When I left the meeting I called my mom and told her I would declare an education major. She didn’t say anything for a while so I thought my phone dropped the call, because surely, she must have been ecstatic, right? Wrong.

“Jasmine, you love writing. You should write. Why aren’t you writing?”

She was right. Moms are always right, but she was really, really right with this one. The very next day I walked into the School of Journalism and Communication on campus and told the lady behind the counter, “I want to do this.” She looked at me as though I had just escaped an asylum. I suppose I could have introduced myself in a different manner, but I was so elated I had finally found what I wanted to do with my life.

Now I’m a senior in the journalism program and I’ve really grown from the lost little freshman I used to be. I know I have a point to writing this… Oh yeah, everyone changes their major, you’re not wrong if you change your mind, it’s never too late to discover your passion. Take all this into account and don’t feel like you’re wasting anyone’s time or money if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. You’re in your 20s, you don’t have to have your life figured out. Hell, I can barely figure out what to make for dinner, let alone decide what I want to do with my life. College is all about discovering your passion, exploring your talents and finding who you are. So take this opportunity and make the very most of it.

31 thoughts on “College: Being lost is a good thing, I promise

  1. Ranting Crow says:

    And to think hat there was time you was like 12 year old and teachers pushed you on writing down what you wanted to be doing in your near future. And again around age 16 I believe. I had fun doing everything I could do. In everything done you find more of yourself. Just wish my teachers would have understood.. Well done in finding your passion. Words create perspectives only a reader can create and they are all different. Now that is true architectural beauty of a sentence.

  2. lnahay says:

    “Not all who wander are lost” :) But that is what college is about whether you know from the onset what your life’s goal is or not: exploring all the many possibilities your life can take. And I noticed that you never once complained about wasted time before coming to where you needed to be. It’s all about the journey! And as a writer, the avenues that brought you to it will only enhance you. Best of everything to you!

  3. michellechamp says:

    So inspiring. I always tell people who are doubting their major that it’s okay to change. You’ll never know unless you try :) I’m glad you picked Journalism! Woo!


  4. ttlblogcommon says:

    Thank you so much for the post. you have mentioned the exact things I have been struggling with. I have changed my major thrice already and have wasted 5 years jumping from one course to other and haven’t figured it out yet. I love culinary arts and am passionate about it. But my parents aren’t supportive at all, heck, they don’t even realize what I should be doing and name things that I have absolute zero interest in. While I love writing, I dont want it to be a profession since I like taking me own time completing write ups. Cooking it has always been for me and I genuinely hope I get some direction.

    • jasminekeclipse says:

      Oh my, you sound just like me a few years ago! The great thing about writing is that it’s not necessarily a 9-5 p.m. job. You can make your own hours while you work on your writing, however, that also means you don’t get a steady paycheck. So there is a huge give and take, but it all depends on your personal happiness. Some people are fine with not making six figures so long as they’re truly happy. As for culinary arts, you just said it yourself: you’re passionate about it. Life is all about passion and making yourself happy while pursuing something that betters you as a person every day. While listening to your parents is important, taking care of yourself and making your dreams come true should be a priority. It is your life, not your parents’. I hope this helps you. Take care. :)

  5. ninjasinstitches says:

    I loved.. and NEEDED to hear this.. I’m in my first semester and I have to take a First Year Experience Course.. in it I have two projects coming up.. A college plan project and a Career Exploration Plan.. I signed up for college on a whim.. I am struggling with these two projects because I don’t know exactly where I’m going but I have this firm belief that I will get where I need to be without forcing it.. So thank you for reminding me of that!

    • jasminekeclipse says:

      I’m so happy this helped you! College is weird in the sense that it’s really just a giant group of young adults who have absolutely no idea what they’re doing with their lives, so you’re not alone! It’s extremely rare to find someone who knows exactly what they want to do with their life. Most people change their majors at least once or twice anyway! Good luck with everything, you’re going to do great!

  6. Phil Taylor says:

    Great blog. Guess what? You’re not locked into your college major for life once you enter the working world. It’s never too late to find and follow your passion. Your mastery of language through writing will be the cornerstone of everything you do in life.

  7. xjustanotherteenblogger says:

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I declared a specialization in Spanish this year which means that I need at least two years of the language for it to count towards anything…Well, I love the language and the culture but I CANNOT learn it while in a classroom. I dropped it when I was doing my re-enrollment and a little part of me felt crushed that I ‘couldn’t handle it’ but another part is really excited. I found two new topics that I want to pick up and hopefully I get accepted! :] So thank you for this little reminder that it IS okay to change our minds :]

    • jasminekeclipse says:

      I love the Spanish language and culture, but I hated the classes too. I spent a few years traveling to Spain and that’s where I found myself fully immersed and in love with the language, I just couldn’t sit in a classroom and get tested on verb conjugations, it wasn’t for me. So I totally get that! Please don’t ever feel like you “gave up” just because you changed your mind. Realizing that something is not for you is a true test to your character, you’re really smart to have realized your passion and I wish you all the best in your new endeavors!

  8. soumyaj says:

    Thankyou for sharing this. I have been going through a really hard year and I needed to hear that it is normal. I keep thinking to share my own hardships but I’m not sure if I am strong enough to end on your positive note. I am however, extremely grateful to you for sharing. You are a talented writer, I hope you go ways with your words :)

  9. T'Leshea says:

    I love this article! I’m glad that you are following your passion. And how awesome is your mom to encourage you and be supportive! Love it :-)

  10. rebeckajulas says:

    This is so great of you to share, thank you! I am just starting college and I´m in my first semester, and I have to say that It feels nice to know that I´m not alone to feel confused and lost. I´ve moved from Sweden to Seattle for school and I have been set on a major in Business, marketing. However the last couple of weeks I´ve started to wonder if that´s really what I want to do, or if I should follow my passion for photography and change my major. I just can´t decide what I want to do, and I think it scares me. But really, thank you for reminding me that it is okay to change and to still figure it all out, it was something I needed to hear again :)

    • jasminekeclipse says:

      Wow that’s quite a transition! While business majors are very versatile and useful in the real world, if your passion isn’t in the business industry, you can’t truly be happy or successful, right? Although, one of my friends is majoring in business and he has a huge passion for photography, so he plans on starting his own wedding photography business post-graduation. So the majors could go hand-in-hand! Personally, if you see an advisor on campus they can help you out! There are plenty of people waiting to guide you toward your goals, and I think you’ve already realized that your passion is in photography, you just have to make it happen! I’m behind you 100 percent, you can do this!

  11. patterson201 says:

    To reiterate what other commenters have said – it is great that you were not too intimidated to change your major and embrace change. At a young age, I remember my teachers asking me “what would you like to be when you grew up?” Although the question was usually followed by the “you can be anything you want to be”, some children become obsessed with the labels associated with certain occupations. Different occupations hold different social meanings. One job may be held in a higher esteem than another. I think that has a profound affect on a child’s sense of identity. I know of a person, who says that she can only remember wanting to become pharmacist since a young child and now having realized her dream, she is completely unhappy. She said that she was so focused on becoming a pharmacist that she never even considered any other career choice. I’m sure she would be happier if she hadn’t pigeonholed herself and explored as you had.

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