I sometimes jokingly say things such as “this is a sign” or “the universe is telling me something.” For example, I had a crush on a guy whose name also happened to be a type of car, so one time while I was talking to my mom about how I wanted a boyfriend, we happened to pass a car dealership that had a giant sign with his name across it. I was simply kidding because the timing seemed to work out perfectly. However, lately it seems as if some higher being—whatever you believe in or want to call it, but for the lack of a better understanding of the world I’m going to refer to it as the Universe—has been trying to push me in a certain direction.
I’m a senior this year, meaning I’ve had to make many decisions about the direction I want my life to go in after I graduate. Being an individual who is heavily into the arts, I originally intended on following my heart and majoring in an artistic area. Then, I talked to some important people in my life and they told me that I shouldn’t do so. Many words were shared that day, all of which resulted in me not knowing what to do with my life.
As children, we’re often told to follow our dreams and, as long as we work hard, we can overcome anything. Thirteen years later, it’s like nothing else besides money matters in the world. I was told to instead go and major in the sciences or mathematics, something from which I could make a lot of money while pursuing my art as a hobby. Surely fellow artists have heard the saying “art is a hobby, not a career” more than once in their lives. Even if I were to put my dreams on hold and go into something else during my college years to ensure a more stable income, to tell me to mindlessly go into a field I have no interest in whatsoever simply to make a good paycheck is the most frustrating thing I’ve ever had to hear. I had thoughts such as Is that what we’ve become as society?
Is money the only thing that matters in this world?
But I gave in. I literally changed all of my majors in one day and submitted them all. I didn’t change it to math or science, because I am positive I would’ve dropped out on the first day with such a major. I changed all my majors except for a few. I just couldn’t help but want to give myself a chance. The universe has a funny way of showing you the way.
So far, I’ve gotten only into universities where I’ve applied in an artistic major. It even worked out so that my safe school rejected me—specifically stating that I should consider going to a community college and then try to transfer after a few years—and I got into my reach schools instead. After I got that rejection letter, I remember sitting on my bed and thinking Thank god. I was ecstatic that I was rejected! I couldn’t have wished for anything better. For me to get rejected from a small school majoring in something that I wasn’t passionate about and instead get accepted into some of the best schools both inside and outside of the U.S. with a major in something I actually care about, I felt positive that the universe was telling me to stop basing my life’s decisions on the opinions of others.
I haven’t heard back from all of my colleges yet. As of now, though, I’m happy with the direction I’ve chosen to go in. Nothing is guaranteed, whether you go into the arts, business, mathematics, or sciences. Being a doctor is a great career choice; however, there will be many more doctors in the world regardless of whether or not I choose to become one. I’m not going to hold myself back and live a life so that I can have perhaps a more “comfortable” life. I will go through struggles, setbacks, and yes, probably some financial problems from time to time. But I will overcome. I know in my heart that there is a specific path that I need to walk in order to stay true to myself. Both the universe and I have spoken.
Illustration by Yukai Du