For anyone who truly knows me, you must know about my decision-making skillz.  They’re horrendous!  If the world were going to end in 3 minutes and I had to pick which color of coffin I wanted and if I didn’t pick before 3 minutes, I’d combust into 5 bajillion tiny pieces and float for the rest of eternity as air particles in Lady Gaga’s hairspray container, I’d be air particles.  Either that, or in the last 10 seconds, I’d pull out the reliable eenie meenie miney mo thing.  I’m not sure what it is about decisions that scare the air particle out of me.  Actually, I do know.  It’s my constant fear of failure.  What if I pick this and it was the wrong choice?  What then?  Or what if I pick the wrong restaurant for girl’s night out and my friends never speak to me again?  CoughcoughWELCOMETOPATHETICSVILLECoughcough!!

That was one of the many reasons I didn’t finish college the first time.  Decisions.  I couldn’t for the life of me decide what to major in.  What if I picked one where I couldn’t get any work?  What if I picked one that I hated?  What am I good at that I could be competent enough to carry on in a job?  I had no idea!  And I still have no idea.  That’s why I’m 33, going back to school with an undeclared major and a rutabaga red-faced student ID card.

The thing about me, in my mind’s eye anyway, is that I suck at a lot of things and I’m “good” at a few things, but I’m not GREAT at anything… and aren’t you supposed to be great in your chosen career path?  I’ll think of possible majoring options but then I’ll immediately bring up a 6000-item list of the reasons why I’d eventually suck at that.  For example, technical writing… I’m not smart enough to be technical.  I’m not eloquent enough to be technical.  The phrase technical writer bores the bajoobus out of me.  Sometimes I have a hard time thinking of intelligent-sounding words because I have so many words like bajoobus and crinkleydinkley floating around in my brain space, crowding out actual real words that make Einstein proud.  That’s just reasons 1 through 4.  Give me another major, I’ll do the exact same thing!  I’ve got a reason for every last one of them.

Another part of my problem, I guess, is that I don’t really know all that’s out there as far as possible majors and what one would do with said major and what if I picked a minor too, how would I correlate the two?  You see what a big ole blob of a mess I am?  I tell you… it’s a miracle I don’t have padded walls and a closet full of strait jackets.  What I think I need to do is find one of those tests… the ones you take that supposedly tell you what you’d be good at.  The last time I took one of those, though, WAYYYYYYYYYYYY back in high school, it told me I should become a librarian.  Great… except the last time I read a whole book, hammer pants were big.  NEXT!  I made a goal that I have this semester to decide a major… write it down, sign it in blood, and finish the sucker.  That’s only a few more months… oh bajooobus… where the crap is my strait jacket!

Question of the Day:  Any suggestions for majors?  How did you pick a major?  



Filed under School

26 responses to “Decisions…

  1. Faith

    I think you need to think more about what you love or enjoy doing than about what you are good at. Because a) you may think you are not good at something that you actually are good at, and most importantly, b) the point of an education is to learn to be good at something.

    One major that comes to my mind when I think of you is English. I think that would suit you, but the problem is that it doesn’t lead to one defined profession. You probably don’t want to be a teacher (I’m pretty sure you and I have this in common), but maybe a journalist or columnist. Maybe you should consider English as a minor at least?

    As for how I picked my major. I too suffer of being indecisive, but thankfully not when I was picking a major. I knew what I loved (books and languages), so I pretty much had two options, literature or translation. And the choice between these two was easy, because at that time, to major in translation I would have had to move to an other town and that was out of the question for me. So literature it was, and I did enjoy that major, but ended up switching to translation later (when I realized I didn’t have to move to do that after all), because studying literature didn’t lead to a defined profession (unless I wanted to be a teacher, which I do not).

    • What great advice, Laura! Thanks so much. You are right in that I’m like you and would rather stick my head in an outhouse than be a teacher!! Too intimidating! I love that you just picked the things you liked and went for it.

  2. Suziq1023

    Hmmm. You made me think (bad girl) and what I thought of was the four happiest people I know. One was a waitress, one was a bookkeeper (back before Quicken), one worked in a doctors office – married at 30 and later worked in a nursing home as a laundress and one went to college AFTER her children graduated from high school and married where she got a degree in English and tought in China twice. And what did I learn from these ladies? That you work to support yourself but you live your life regardless. So, maybe that’s no help other than there’s no wrong decision because life happens regardless. Just decide to be happy. I started typing abstracts and now I’m a Security manager. It was a twisted path to get here but it was my life and it’s been all things – happy, sad, interesting and boring. As long as you put yourself out there and you live every day that’s the important part. God can handle the rest 😉

    • You are so right, Suzi! Happiness is not in your work, it’s in what you do after it. I’d be happy just to be moved out of this her basement in a small little house of my own, so when I get a job that will pay to do that, I’m going to sit down, shut up, and be grateful!

  3. Lindsay

    Keep at it most people don’t do anything with their major anyway but to have a degree gets them more options in the workplace! Have fun learning and enjoy the process! I miss school already!

  4. Natalie

    Great and talented, smart people aren’t always the ones achieving something. Often it’s more about persistence and tenacity. The one that keeps trying. The one that keeps going forward. I’ve known plenty of smart people that don’t have what it takes. You have what it takes.

  5. Avster

    I chose a major called “Professional Bum.” I can share the secrets only with those not attending college. 😉

    Seriously, I don’t know. I didn’t go to college for the reason that there was not a field that strongly attracted my interest… I didn’t see the sense in paying money I didn’t have for something I didn’t know I wanted… at this point I don’t regret my decision. Maybe someday… but for now, I’m happy with where I’m at. 🙂

  6. Susan

    I wanted to be a business major – isn’t that what we were all supposed to do? But I couldn’t get past the math classes so I got a B.S. in political science. It was really close to the business degree because it was a B.S. not a B.A. I never really knew what I wanted to do, but I stumbled into a lucrative career where I actually use my degree. One of the other posters nailed it: what do you LIKE to do? What would make you happy? Have you thought about pursuing a degree in nutrition? I’m serious. I’d rather take diet and nutrition advice from someone who has actually lost a few pounds instead of some chick who whines about being 5 lbs overweight.

    • So awesome that you use your degree… all that learning wasn’t a waste of time! I have sooooo thought about nutrition. I think I may like that, but then I got to thinking if I would want to get advice from someone who is considered “fat.” Not knowing my back story, it would be hard on the first impression to walk in and see someone who weighs what they do! I know it’s all in my head… but I’d have to get over that hurdle!

  7. cl2

    I just wanted to be a secretary from a very young age. I went to USU 2 quarters. Took mostly secretarial classes just for the heck of it. I had all the skills I needed–but you couldn’t get a job without experience. So I finally went to work at Thiokol and loved “almost” every minute. Met wonderful people. LOVED being a secretary. A good job for multitaskers. I like doing what we do now, too–I hope it lasts until I “retire.”

    But my daughter started out with a major in teaching history. She has been in and out of school while working in Alaska–and she just decided she is weary of being in school and decided to just finish, get a degree, and then go from there–and she will graduate in the spring with a major in history. She loves history classes. My sister loved taking them at USU, too. Maybe aim to get a degree and then go from there.

    • I think that’s a wise idea… just to get a degree!! How exciting that your daughter will graduate in the spring. I’m sure she is ready to be done! It is definitely a bonus to like your job! I’m glad you enjoyed Thiokol and transcription… but yes, I’m so nervous on the transcription front lasting!! It’s scary!


    Question of the Day: Any suggestions for majors? How did you pick a major?

    When I had to decide on a major, my counselor asked me what my favorite classes were. At the time I really loved going to Psychology, Mythology, and Photography classes. She told me to choose one of them.
    I didn’t see a future career in Mythology except as a teacher and that didn’t fit.
    I could see a future in photography but wasn’t sure how to go about it.
    I could see a future in psychology and had some experience in that field from working at the hospitals.
    I chose psychology and saw it through. I even worked in the field several years. Realizing that I would have to go back to school ( for a Masters or PhD) if I wanted to move up the ladder.
    I got out of the field and landed an entry level job with a laboratory and worked as a waitress for about 6months until I didn’t need it anymore to pay off bills and loans etc.
    Turns out I did use my degree a lot dealing with restaurant customers, patients, doctors, nurses, and co-workers. I was able to moved up the ladder quickly and soon was a manager in a branch lab. It was ok but not my calling.
    I stayed with it for awhile but when Dh & I decided to have kids, we both thought I would be the better choice to stay home with them.
    I have worked part-time over the years in many jobs ( substitute teacher, sales at the Farmer’s Market, data entry, customer service, tutoring, giving riding lessons, babysitting…and the list goes on ),
    I think I use my degree more homeschooling my kids and guiding them up on the Christian path than I ever did doing anything else.

    I think the posts above have been really spot-on.
    Pick a degree that you enjoy and can be proud of. Once you have it…no one can take it from you. Don’t worry so much about whether it will be your career or not. Having a degree will open doors for you. You will still be able to do your singing gigs at the nursing homes or other places where you choose to bless others. Maybe you can incorporate your love of music, nutrition, fitness, changing up recipes, blogging, and taking pictures into something new and different.
    You will be a happy and well-rounded person if you still give of yourself and your time and your talents and you take time to praise God.

    Like I tell my kids – “Don’t worry about the future so much and making life changing decisions. Pray about it. Open yourself up to God. Listen and be guided by Him. Praise God when you succeed and praise God when you fail. You will have some of both in life. Be a blessing to others. We will always be here for you and so will God. You can call on us to help anytime because we love you. Nothing you could ever do will change the fact that we love you.”

  9. Jen

    I think you are great at a lot of things! So finding a career should be easy for someone as talented as you. It seems like every new thing you try lately, you become very good at. Way to go! When I decided to go back to school for the second time, it took a lot of soul-searching before I had it narrowed down to two professions: teaching or nursing. I even did one of those aptitude tests and it did help me realize I like service-oriented professions. I’ll be anxiously awaiting your decision and will let you know if I have any brilliant ideas for you.

    • How much do I owe you for that nice compliment, Jen! I never believe I do anything well! I am going to have to do the aptitude test like you did. You picked a great one for your personality, Jen. You are a great nurse!

  10. I started out as a dietetics major. They have a good program at USU. Do you think that would be interesting to you? It seems you already know much about it. I switched to Apparel Merchandising because it was something I really loved. They don’t have that major there anymore 😦 You have such a great voice – have you considered something in music? Vocal Performance maybe? Or teaching music? I took piano for a short time there. It seems like it didn’t take too much to get certified to teach piano lessons. I think you would be an excellent vocal teacher. I actually was an accompanist for a short time for a lady who taught vocal lessons for USU eons ago.

    • Dietetics was a thought for sure… but then I got hung up on the fact that I’m not a skinny svelte thing and never will be. First impressions are hard… especially when folks don’t know your history! How sad that they don’t have apparel merchandising anymore. It seems like it would always be relevant.

      How sweet about the voice thing. I am too intimidated to be a teacher of any sorts… but I have thought about the possibility of music therapy… that may tie in my love of music to a career somewheres! I will have to research it.

  11. dessawade

    Alot of really good ideas Whitney for you from your posters. I agree with Jen that you are good at alot of things but you don’t see it.

  12. 21ladybug

    Whitney, you are such a natural writer that I think you could easily use those skills in any field you choose. I thought the dietetics idea really sounds great because you have accumulated so much knowledge AND have put it to good use.

    I now have a B.S. and two different M.S. degrees and I have used all of them for employment in three different fields (just a reminder that you don’t have to be stuck in one career). However, I also know several people who went to law school, worked as lawyers for 10 minutes and decided it was not for them. Choose something that interests you!

    • How sweet are you! Wow… you are a go getter!! Very impressive. And I love that you’ve had so many different careers too. Makes life interesting for sure! Thank you for the advice! I’m definitely going to look into those areas.

  13. Whit,
    I am so slow in responding to this post–sorry. But I just had to get my two cents in 🙂 I think you have some excellent ideas–you just need to believe in yourself! You would be excellent in dietetics or nutrition–I think there are a lot of options within that field. What about something like a diabetic educator–your vast knowledge would be priceless, as well as some personal experience in the area. I also think going in to music therapy, writing, or photography would be wonderful areas for you. The problem really is that you are so talented, it should be hard to narrow it down to just one field. I do agree that making decisions is one of the hardest things there is.

    • As per usual, you are the sweetest, Alena! Thank you for the kick in the confidence wagon. I’m going to need it! I will have to check into the nutrition possibilities… maybe I could do it for the blind people! There I go again! Stop it already! 😛

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