BP Blog

How to Decide the Rest of Your Life (Part 1)

by Julia Borst

The Bulldog Project Asks: At 18, how do you pick what you want to do with the rest of your life? 

Picking a major -- choosing a career. We all have known and felt the pressure to decide -- to make "the big decision." And really, what decision other than choosing your spouse could ever be as important as choosing your major and your career? The very importance of this decision makes it all the harder.  


As a freshman, I still have some time to choose my major and figure out different job opportunities. However, I think I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do. Now, I know that some people will tell you to go where the money's at, while others will tell you to do what you're most passionate about. I tend to agree with the latter idea, and that is what I have decided to do.  

How I Picked My Major

I am an English major. I know there's not a lot of money there, and you can laugh if you want. But English makes me happy, and I usually enjoy doing things for my English class. The only time that I don't is when I'm on a deadline and I have a whole bunch of things to get done. I can't really appreciate what I'm doing then because I'm stressed, but at other times, I do. I love to read -- that's what sold me most on a Bachelor's in English. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to major in English Literature or English Writing, but I figure I'll find that out on the way. I think you have to play it by ear a bit -- take a few classes in each subject and figure out what you like the best. 

What Are You Going To Do with an English Degree? 

I want to be an editor. I mentioned before that I love to read (I really love to read). It would be my dream job to be an editor of novels. I would absolutely love that. I enjoy the process of editing and I would love to hear inside pieces of information from the authors I wouldn't get as a reader. I would be able to leave my mark on something that I love -- literature -- and I would be able to help other authors leave their own mark on the world through their writing.  

I am probably going to double major in English and Spanish. I'm not sure if I'm going to choose to major in Spanish, but that seems to be the direction I'm leaning in. And, as I said, I'm not sure which English degree I'm going to choose.

So I think, why choose at all? I can pick one to be my main focus and do the other one as a minor. They're both related, so it shouldn't be too hard or out of the way to do that. I'll have to talk to my adviser of course, but I'm sure I'll be able to sort it all out.  

The Bottom Line

Basically -- and I know this is going to sound cheesy, but it's true -- I have been listening to my heart when deciding what I want to do with my life. I don't want to end up doing something I'm not going to enjoy. I want to wake up excited to go to work. I want my job to be a privilege. Of course I have talked to my parents about all this, and to my surprise, they completely agree with me. They're not trying to push me to go where the money is, and that really means a lot to me. They have told me to do what feels right because they want me to be happy, and I am deeply grateful for that.  

So what am I doing to decide on my future? I guess I would have to say trial and error. Try, and if you fail, get up and try again.  

Check out our Part 2 post tomorrow -- from the view of an upperclassman!