When we graduate high school, the world becomes our oyster.
We have the potential to do any and everything we set our minds to.
But unfortunately, barely being an adult and having to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life comes easily to some and not so easily for others.
I was denied from my dream program and couldn't afford to attend my dream school. I ended up attending a university that had absolutely nothing that interested me just to say I got a degree.
Picking a degree I am stuck with for the rest of my life is absolutely nerve wracking, and I feel like I made the wrong decision.
It seemed right at the time. I was doing something that most people in my family had never done, which was just going to college. I was taking a different path in hopes that it would lead to financial security.
While I do have regrets with my major, I do not have regrets of attending college. Here are some ways to help you from making the same mistakes I did by picking the right major and school:
1. Find a subject you are passionate about.
Most people know what they are passionate about before they enter college, and others don't.
I was passionate about music and education, so my goal was to become a music teacher.
To this day, I still find I am extremely passionate about education. In my spare time, I volunteer for a program called Junior Achievement, which aims to give financial literacy to children of all ages.
If you don't know what you are passionate about, volunteer. It is a way to break into a field without actually having a full-time commitment.
You can volunteer at hospitals, animal shelters, schools and various organizations. This will help you get a general idea of what you like to do.
2. Don't let money stand in your way.
Of course, money will be an obstacle.
Maybe you got into a top school, then realized you couldn't afford it, but going to "the best" school doesn't mean everything — how well you do in your classes is far more important.
So even if you aren't attending your dream school, you can still achieve a quality education and make your other dreams happen.
Maybe you can't afford a local community college. Check into the various scholarships and loans they offer to their students. Work part time to make it through.
There are tons of organizations offering scholarships based on certain traits versus academic achievement.
I can promise there will be a scholarship to fit you if you are willing to look hard enough.
3. Don't let a rejection ruin you.
Not getting into the school (or program) of your dreams can be absolutely heartbreaking.
You believe you will never be able to make it into another program, and it is game over.
This is absolutely false.
Just because you were denied entrance into one program, it doesn't mean you won't get into another. Stay positive, and keep applying.
4. Start small if you have to.
A lot of community colleges offer direct transfers into major universities once you obtain your A.A.
Keep your options open — there are plenty of ways to succeed in this world. No one is trying to hold you back.
I am almost done with my bachelor's degree and have started looking into master's programs.
I will not allow myself to make the same mistake twice. I have discovered a new path for my career and plan on taking it.
So here's to making good decisions, and no more regrets, cheers!
This article originally appeared on Unwritten.