If you’re asking me

It’s ok to not have it figured out

Skyler Schad

More stories from Skyler Schad

If you’re asking me
October 4, 2023

Photo by Marisa Valdez

Fall time is the best time for improving your mental health.

Dear reader,

The classic question every kid is asked at a very young age: what do you want to be when you grow up?

At that moment, we either automatically knew how to answer, or we racked our brains trying to think of a random occupation to spew out.

We grow up thinking we’re going to get out of high school and know exactly what we want to do; that the pieces will just all fall into place the second we’re on campus.

We pick a major early into our senior year of high school, only a 17-year-old kid forced to make adult decisions. 

This one decision leads us for the rest of our lives.

One thing you realize once you get to college is that there’s this heavy expectation to know exactly where you want your life to go. Every decision you make over the next four years just has to be based on these ever-so-detailed future plans.

But the truth is, you don’t have to have it all figured out.

I came into college as a social work major. Unlike others, I knew exactly what I wanted my major to be. Months later, I added a dance certificate. Months after that, a communications minor. And now, halfway into my second year, I found myself adding a child welfare certificate.

And I’m not telling you that you need to have all of these things. You could just have a major and be proud of yourself and find your true happiness in the world.

What I’m trying to show you is that it’s okay to figure it out as you go. I don’t know exactly what job I will end up having, but knowing I’m letting my heart lead me through this journey lets me know that I will be happy with the paths I took in college.

It’s okay to be undecided. Take a few classes and see what speaks to you. The way you will find yourself being completely satisfied is if you try things out and find your true passion.

It’s okay to have a major picked out but not know what job you want. One of the main reasons we have major-based classes is to explore all of the different fields and see which one speaks to you and brings you joy. At some point along the way, something will just feel right.

It’s okay to change your major. You may realize that the major you had been positive was the right one, suddenly it doesn’t feel so right anymore, and that is okay. It happens, and it happens for a reason –– because your heart is pulling you in a new direction.

But the biggest thing I want you to take away from this is that you don’t have to have yourself figured out.

In the process of your college journey, you will be continuously learning about yourself. You may discover pieces of yourself that you didn’t even know existed.

Being undecided, not knowing where you want your major to go or changing your major altogether are all a part of the process of finding yourself.

Don’t pressure yourself to be perfect. Don’t batter yourself over the small mistakes. Don’t stay awake at night wondering what you could’ve done differently that day.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to have off-days. It’s okay to have those times when you wonder what the hell you’re doing. 

You can’t put your mental health at risk by striving for perfection. You will figure yourself out as time goes on. Those pieces will slowly start to fall into place, and during that process, you will learn about yourself more than you ever had before.

Every day is different, every person is different and every future is different. You are your own person, on your own beautiful path to your future, no matter how twisty and turvy that path gets.

 Enjoy the views. Take every day as it comes. Keep growing, keep learning and always put yourself and your happiness first.

It will all work out in the end.

Lots of love and hugs of encouragement,



Schad can be reached at [email protected].