Don’t sweat your mid-college freakout

Amanda Irons
Amanda Irons

Contemplated switching majors? Switching schools? Do you lay awake at night wondering if you’re doing college the right way? If you said yes to any of these questions, you may be having a mid-college crisis.

At some point it’s going to hit you that there is not much time left between now and entering the so-called “real world.”

For me, the realization that college would one day cease came at the end of freshman year. It dawned on me that I couldn’t get a degree in undeclared. I had to sit down, print out the list of majors Chico State offered and pick one. Highlighter in hand, I was making what felt like the biggest decision of my life.ilovequinn_collegeofOZ

It’s been almost two years since that day, and it somehow feels like last week. I vividly recall the frustration. I remember sitting at my desk. I cannot forget talking to my roommate about what she was going to major in, being undeclared herself. We went over the list together, feverishly crossing out all the obvious majors we would not pursue and highlighting our potential careers. We compared notes every so often to try to make sense of it all. We were clueless freshmen trying to figure out our direction for the next three years.

Maybe it is that thought rattling in the back of my head that makes me feel anxious. I was a freshman picking my academic future. I have pictures from that period of my life, and I can clearly see some of the bad decisions I made. I drank too much on the weekends. I was perhaps a bit too comfortable with my floormates. My taste in men has yet to improve. I was so naïve about the entire college experience and simultaneously making decisions that dictated my future.

If you are anything like me, you have contemplated changing majors. You have seriously deliberated switching schools. You worry that you are not taking all of the right classes, getting involved in the right clubs, and pursuing the right internships at the right times to land the right job after this is all over.

You are having a slight mid-college crisis.

This overwhelming wave of maturity forces us to analyze ourselves. It forces us to look into the mirror and ask, “Am
I prepared for the rest of my life?” College is only so many semesters away from being a thing of the past, and I am not quite sure if I am ready to go.

With this Goliath of a question in mind, I recommend that students seize their time here. Do all you can, even if that leaves you exhausted each night. Ensure that you’re doing all you can with your time here, because it’s finite. Keep your decisions in perspective. Think deeply about changing majors, and remember joining a club is not a life sentence.

Whether you are here for three years or five, you are bound to freak out about your future. Do what makes you happy. You will be alright.


Amanda Irons can be reached at [email protected] or @amanda_irons on Twitter.

Illustration by Liz Coffee.