I'm Undecided...And That's Okay!

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Hi, guys! It's Anna here. I am joining the life of the tower today to tell you all my personal experience of being a student who was undecided in college. 

Start scenario: You are at a ball game, a church gathering, the grocery store (almost any social situation will do where there are people and a chance for chit-chat), and you run into your piano teacher from second grade. Upon learning that you are a senior, you can tell where this conversation is headed.  Immediately, your hands start sweating and you get a knot in your stomach. (Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic, but you get the picture.) You know what she is going to ask. You know because you have been asked it a million times already. Here it comes again, “So, what are you planning to major in?” At that moment, you begin weighing the options of totally making something up or actually saying the dreaded words….. “I’m undecided”. 

Ok, let’s cut to the chase. I know that all of you juniors and seniors are starting to get to that age old question. It comes in many forms … “What do you want to do with your life?”, “What are you planning to major in?”, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, “What is your plan for the future?”  Let me be the first to welcome you to this wonderful stage of life called “young adulthood.” It is a stage of transition, of finding yourself, of exploring, and of seeking the Lord’s will. I know because I have just been there myself. From a former undecided major, I can reassure you, there is life on the other side. Although entering this stage without all the answers may seem scary and uncertain, it can be an awesome time of learning if you let it. 

In high school, I had always been the girl with the plan. Whether it was what classes I would take next year, what student government office I would run for, what I was doing that weekend, or how my life was going to play out. I knew it all. Undecided wasn’t even in my vocabulary. From the time I could talk, I had broadcasted to anyone that would listen that I wanted to be a doctor. As senior year quickly approached, I started realizing that I was feeling a little uncertain about my plan. I survived most of the questions regarding my major by either saying whatever popped into my head first or mumbling under my breath and quickly changing the subject.  Senior year flew by and, before I knew it, graduation had taken place, and it was time for my freshman year at MC. 

I remember walking through those first few weeks praying and begging the Lord to reveal to me what he wanted me to do with my life. All of my friends seemed to have a direct career path, and I expected the Lord to give me the same type of calling. For my first two years of college, I prayed the same prayer. I couldn’t understand why the Lord wasn’t answering me. Toward the end of my sophomore year, through a few conversations with some very wise professors and mentors, a light bulb went off in my head. I’m sure the Lord had been answering me for some time, but I was oblivious because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. It was as if the Lord was saying to me, “Anna- I’m not going to give you a road map now for what every day of your life will look like. I’m going to show you a little bit at a time, and you are going to have to trust me.” I can honestly say that the Lord knows me better than I know myself. He knew that if He gave me a very specific calling, that I would take it and run with it. Once I had a plan, I would never be still long enough to seek His will the way I had been for months. Instead, He chose to make me utterly dependent on Him. Each day, during and after college, I would have to wake up and ask Him what His plan was for that day. He was teaching me dependency on Him, and it is a lesson that I am still learning even today.

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I can’t even explain to you the peace that came with realizing that my identity is not defined by my career path. It was like having a new found freedom. I no longer hung my head in shame when people asked me that dreaded question. My response was, “I’m undecided… and that’s ok.”  I continued taking the university core curriculum, and began adding in one or two classes as electives that I was just interested in exploring. I finally chose a major… communications. But instead of choosing it out of desperation, I chose it because I loved it.

So for all you “undecided” students out there, I have good news! There are a lot of great resources on MC’s campus to help you as you explore some different options. All freshman students at MC take a type of personality test called Strengthsfinder during their first semester of school. This test is designed to help you discover your strengths and ways to use them. Our Career Services center encourages students to set up an appointment with them to discuss career options if they need help choosing a major, and our Student Success center will help advise you while you are still making decisions.

I am going to leave you with some wise words from our Director of Student Success, Mr. Terry Dent. He said, “starting college with an undecided major means that you have all the freedom in the world to explore your options.  As you take classes and you discover not only what you like, but what you are good at doing, you can zero in and select a major with a degree of confidence.  Too many students choose a major randomly, or because they don't know what else is out there.  Often, those students have to "back out" of a major that doesn't suit them.  Undecided students come in with an open mind and heart to see where God might lead them and where they might have the greatest success.  

At Mississippi College, we are committed to helping students find their best chance at success. Deciding what degree program you will work toward is part of the college experience.  Admitting that you are undecided just suggests you have options!”

Hope to see you guys soon, 

Anna Mortimer  and some words about loving MC

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