Finding Your Purpose in Life/What career is right for me?
My name is Amanda and I'm a freshman in college and I have no idea what major I want to study. This lack of motivation is detrimental to my mental well-being and I'm having feeling that I should drop out since I'm not working towards anything and I'm not great with learning intellectual stuff... I really need help with picking a major.
Let me tell you a little about myself: I took a year off between high school and college to participate in AmeriCorps. I was an academic tutor to middle school students a little south of Seattle (I'm a native Texan). This was a wonderful experience but extremely difficult for me. I did so well with the move, living with 6 people, and being on a team of 60. but what I really excelled at was connecting with my students. I;ve had a very rough childhood so I was able to relate with my students who had extremely difficult lives - like myself. The compassion and empathy I naturally possess worked so well in that situation - but it was also the worst thing for me. I made my students feel valued and confident, but in return I digested their pain and struggles as my own. I understand that my great skill is my weakness. I love that I am able to find the good in every single person I meet and bring that out of them! But in return people use me, I end up over extending myself, and getting caught iup in my emotions. I've never been able to seperate myself from my emotions and I'm afraid that if I do it will change who I am. I don't mind if people use me if for even one second they feel loved and happy.
So now how do I choose a career that lets me use my skills without killing myself emotionally? I didn't particulary like the idea of teaching. Social work does appeal to me but I feel like I would be too emotionally drained. When I started college I wanted to major in business, but I don't think I would work well in a corporate environment (and I don't think I'd be able to pass calculus and definetely not accounting).
I really need help. I don't know what to do and I'm afraid of becoming a failure like everyone else in my family.
Please please please, if you have any suggestion please let me know.
Thank you for your time.
What you are experiencing is normal. In fact, because you are questioning now is rather inspiring. You reached this point far ahead of most so don't fret. In your case fear is a good thing. Let it drive you to where you want to be. But that is the question, where?
You've already identified an area of activity where you feel you can BE your best. That's the most important part. You see, we are all here to help each other get through life. Your experiences have provided you with a unique outlook and toolset to help those in similar positions. And, one of the gifts that is required for this is empathy. You are a "feeler". Those who are suffering need someone like you to help them because theorist are incapable of helping them.
Your challenge is not to control your emotions but learn how to use them to make you much more effective. Yes, it is draining so you also need to develop a way to recharge.
The first thing I need you to grasp is what are your limits of emotional energy expenditure (E3). Pay attention to when you start feeling drained. It is at that point that you need to say "No More!" It's like exercising your emotional muscles. At some point you need to rest or recharge.
Next, how do you recharge? I would suggest bubble baths and meditation. I know it sounds odd, but there are healing properties in scents and water. Find a scent that appeals to you, draw a bubble bath, and let go. If you've never meditated before, the first thing to do is let you mind run wild for the first week. Then week after week try to periodically focus your thoughts on nothing until you can do it for about 5 consecutive minutes. Getting good at this will also extend your (E3).
As far as a major is concerned, you have to realize that you are a unique powerhouse who has the ability to succeed in life. Think about who you want to BE and not what you want to do. By that I mean, you've discovered that you are an empath. An empath does spectacular work helping others. As you grow as an empath, it's easy to decide on what classes to take generally centered around psychology but don't get so engrossed in that. Take classes in music, sound therapies, etc. As you build your arsenal, you will become one of the saviors in this world. Empath's are needed, you are needed. Stop thinking about it and just go for it.