“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

As a child, this question is wonderfully exciting. It invites a new answer every day (or every mintute)–I’m going to be an astrounaut! A doctor! A movie star! A circle!

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But somewhere between high school and college, the question changes.

“What do you want to do with your life?”

This question is much more serious, and strikes fear into the hearts of the undecided. Indeed, it’s often this uncertainty that keeps students in colleges years longer than a degree requires, that leads to students dropping out of college, or even prevents students from pursuing higher education.

But is being undecided a reason to avoid college (or avoid graduating)? Though there is a fairly robust niche movement of students who choose not to pursue a college degree (at least not right away)–Uncollege–such a choice must be well thought out, and is NOT right for everyone.

Don’t listen to people decrying the usefulness of a liberal-arts degree. It’s still highly valued. You can be a history major in college (like me!) and learn all of the skills–both practical and cognitive–that you need to succeed in almost any career. Indeed, your liberal-arts degree may make you a more desirable candiate, because you know how to think outside the box, be flexible,

Though there aren’t clear, reliable statistics on the frequency with which American’s change jobs (or careers) you can probably expect to change jobs quite a bit, especially during your first few years of graduation. You will have more time when you graduate to settle down into the career you truly LOVE.

Of course, you don’t want to end up like this guy:

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But there’s a difference between letting your uncertainty hold you back and embracing the ways that your uncertainty gives you an advantage–and may not be a bad thing at all. Yes, it’s great if you KNOW you want to be a doctor, lawyer, or businessman. But most of us need a little more time, a little more experimentation, to find our calling. As long as you’re learning and moving toward your educational goals, don’t stress too much about figuring out a good answer to that question. Embrace “undecided.” It’s what I’ve done, and I encourage you all to do the same.