Society has inherently adapted these values that uphold some career paths over others; we’ve decided which college majors are worth pursuing and which are a waste of time.
I thought I had to be something impressive or “important” like a doctor or a lawyer. But it turns out I can be something impressive like a curator, artist, or writer.
However, my journey in self-doubt started my senior year of high school while preparing to begin my college applications. Throughout my whole childhood I wanted to be an interior designer, I would occasionally change my mind to being a princess, but for the overwhelming majority of the time — I wanted to design. So, when it came time to apply for college, I searched for schools that offered a major in interior design or similar field. I ended up applying to a variety of schools with intended majors in Architecture, Interior Design, and Studio Art.
I remember the first time I received backlash from someone — it stuck, it hit me hard.
My high school tennis team was having a family cookout and end of the year party. All the seniors were talking about their plans for the upcoming year: Computer Science, Pre-Med, Studio Art…
*Queue team mom interjecting her unsolicited opinion*
“Why are you wasting your intellect on art?” “That’s a waste of time.”
My then-boyfriend told me, “I’ve never even heard you talk about art.”
Their comments, along with the evident disapproval from members of my family hit heavy enough to change my mind as I entered my first year of college.
I pushed myself to pursue Nursing or Pre-Med.
I lasted one semester before switching to Journalism.
I lasted one semester before I decided to pursue a major in Art History and transfer universities.
I was tired. It wasn’t worth it to me to not be studying something I wasn’t bursting with passion about. This isn’t about choosing a career that your family and peers will approve of — it’s about choosing a career your passionate about, despite their opinions, and how to navigate their doubt.