It sounds too simple, and waaay too easy for such a loaded, complicated question… but picking up the newspaper might just be the trick you need to figure out what you want to do. When I was growing up, my ideal career changed more than I changed outfits. Interior designing one day, a veterinarian the next, a week after that I was certain I wanted to be a food critic, and then I’d swear I was destined to be an actress… oh wait, or maybe a psychologist! This change of heart was fine for my middle school and early high school days, and but as the time to graduate and go to college crept closer, I was worried about my future and couldn’t pick a major, much less career, for the life of me!
One day after school, I was whining to my mom about my indecisiveness and complete lack of direction, and she just tossed The New York Times in my lap. She told me to read the paper for a week and cut out the articles I found most interesting. My mom went on to tell me that she never would have chosen to be an art history major if it hadn’t been for one of her English professors who had given her this same exact assignment. He told her the most successful and happy people are truly interested in their work, so why not pick a career or industry you enjoy learning and reading about?
For a week straight, I read The New York Times thoroughly and, after everyone had read the paper, I would cut out the articles that interested me. At the end of the week, I had collected a wide range of articles, but the majority was from the Arts and Leisure section. Granted, I’m sure a lot of young girls would have very similar results, but this little exercise definitely helped me realize what careers and majors weren’t for me. I ended up attending a well-rounded liberal arts college and decided on majoring in English… a far cry from the biology major I had been contemplating just a few months before.
If you are confused about what to study, or maybe you’ve picked a major and you just aren’t sure what to do with your degree… try reading the newspaper and noting what articles you are drawn to. You might be very surprised at the results!