By James Teixeira, SED 2018
College can be an extremely stressful experience. There are what seems like a million important decisions to make – some that could have a lifelong impact. I’ve met an overwhelming amount of people who all seem to have their lives figured out. From the kids who know they want to be high school U.S. history teachers to those who are on the pre-med track dreaming of a prestigious medical school. Then there are people like me who have desperately tried to figure things out and always come up short somehow.
Every day I decide on a different career. I’ve explored teaching, psychology, law, the medical field, and any other major profession you can imagine. Pressured by outside influences like what my annual salary will be or where I want to live or what I want to be doing for the rest of my life make deciding on a career a daunting task.
Growing up I always wanted to be teacher, but other people don’t always have the best reaction to this aspiration. They say things like “you’re going to be miserable” or “how will you survive on that salary?” People have even asked me “If you’re going to go to BU why wouldn’t you choose a more prestigious career?” It’s unbelievably hard to have a clear head when there is pressure coming from every direction. After a lot of soul searching this year and some help from the Career Development Office at BU, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
First, it’s okay to not have everything figured out at this stage in your life. So many people have told me to find my passion and follow my heart. It turns out that finding your passion isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when you have the weight of a decision that affects the rest of your life on your shoulders. I’ve always dreamed of being a teacher, but I let myself get lost in the judgment of everyone surrounding me and the worry of what my quality of life will be. It is important to not to let outside factors contribute to your decision making.
Last semester, I attempted to embark on the pre-med track to fulfill the expectations of the people around me. I convinced myself that it was what I wanted to do until I realized that something was missing – that something being the burning flame of passion and excitement for the career ahead of me.
Lastly, it’s okay to explore a subject you’re interested in without having a clear destination in mind. Your bachelor’s degree does not set in stone your path in life. My journey so far at BU has been one of exploration. I know for a fact that I want to work with kids someday, and although I’m not totally sure what I want to be doing, I know that graduating from the School of Education leaves me with more options than I had previously realized.
My one piece of advice is to never let anyone devalue your ambitions – you have to make the right choices for you in order to live a satisfactory life. I have always aspired to make a difference in the lives of children and some day I will attain that dream one way or another. For now, I am making the most of attending the amazing institution that is Boston University.
James Teixeira is a sophomore in the School of Education, majoring in History Education