20something profile: Ola
I graduated college in June of 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Since my graduation, I’ve been nothing but a lost soul searching for its real purpose in the world and the true meaning of its life. At first, I was like any other college graduate looking everywhere for a job or rushing to apply to as many grad schools as they can. It went on for about six frustrating months until I realized I was moving in the wrong direction.
Since I was a high school student, I couldn’t decide what I really wanted in life. What made it even harder was that all my friends were decided about their future. I felt the pressure of applying to universities right after graduating high school, although I was just 16, because everyone else was doing it. I applied to a lot of colleges, colleges I didn’t even know the nature of their professions, and got accepted in computer science. My troubles didn’t end with the beginning of my college life; they haunted me throughout the four years of my studying.
During freshman, sophomore, and junior years, I kept questioning my decision of joining the computer science field. I started taking the idea of leaving the field seriously. This idea faded away after I became a senior. I felt that I should be doing the right thing, and the right thing is to graduate and get a job in my area of study. I was just following what everyone else is doing and what the society expects from us. I forced myself to accept computer science as my career although I despised it.
I graduated and was unemployed, so my only other option was to get a master’s degree. When I was writing my statement of purpose to one of the grad schools, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea why I wanted to get my master’s or what subfield I wanted to continue my studies in. And why is that? Because I am not in the right place; I am not where I am supposed to be. I knew then that I can’t keep forcing myself to do what I am not meant for.
One day, I remembered what always interested me since I was a kid. I remembered that in middle school, when I was just 12, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would say, “A psychologist because I want to help others.” That remains true to this day. I’ve always been interested in psychology. I find human behavior and the human mind to be very intriguing. That’s why I decided to become a psychologist.
The problem now is that I don’t have money to pay for college. I can’t ask my parents to support me financially because they are against the whole idea. They think that I am doing a wrong thing by throwing away the bachelor’s degree I have to pursue my dream career.
In fact, a lot of my college mates would think that it’s a crazy decision. Many of them actually wanted to pursue other careers but were too afraid to. They gave up on their dreams and continued in what they’re already doing. I chose not to; I chose to stand up for who I am and make my dreams my reality. I promised myself that I will not follow the crowd anymore and do what suits me. I promised myself that I will not give up on my dreams even if the whole world is against it.
So in the past year, I didn’t get a job, and I couldn’t start my master’s degree, but I learned a lot about myself, and I connected with my soul. And to all of you who are at a fork in the road, I only have one advice for you: follow your heart; let your intuition lead you. As for my story, it remains unfinished; it actually just started.