comic with a person riding a bike on a straight path titled "Your Plans" and a person riding a bike on a up and down path with obstacles called "The Universe's Plans"

I have always been a planner. I know what I want and I take the steps to get it. Time-management is my forte.

I plan my weekends to maximize studying, I plan my next semester’s classes over a month in advance of the registration window, I plan my long-term future– five, ten, fifteen years from now.

It’s funny to me how much my ideas about my future have changed from when I first arrived at WSU. Three years ago, I was a confident English major—no second-guessing or doubts about it—and thought that I was going to be an editor at a publishing house, reading books for the rest of my life in an office somewhere.

That was my plan, and I thought that it would lay out before me as smooth and even as a newly paved road.

But in the last year, my one-lane English major road expanded a two-lane highway. Through a series of coincidences and opportunities, I discovered the field of web communications.

And I’ve discovered that I’m good at it, that I enjoy writing content for webpages, making websites organized with their information easy to find, and managing social media. This excites me much more than the idea of reading manuscripts does.

As a junior, though, I can almost see my destination beyond the bright neon “Graduation” sign and the web communication exit quickly approaches.

As of last week, I am officially double majoring in English-Writing and Public Relations. After several months of deliberation I finally made the decision and with the approval of my advisor, turned in my declaration of major form to the Warrior Hub (which as I explained in last week’s post is where the Registrar’s Office is located).

And just like that, my plan changed. My career GPS is now re-calculating….

Though it wasn’t my original plan, I know that it was the right thing to do. I want a career that is creative and engaging with potential for growth and continued learning—and for me, web communications offers exactly what I am looking for.

Though it will take me an extra semester, having both the English and Public Relations majors will give me experience in all writing areas and knowledge of how mass communication works in the business world that will help me succeed as a web communications specialist.

Cliché road metaphor aside, what I am trying to say here is that people are pressured to have a plan when they go to college. But for everything a plan can give you—a starting place, a goal, and concrete steps along the way—it fails to take into account unforeseen opportunities, spontaneous change.

Which is ironic, since life is change. We travel to new places, we learn new information, we make new friends and families, we grow older —all of this is change. The point is that plans are great, but don’t let yourself become confined by them.

Look around, take your eyes off that road. Or you might find that you are passing your true destination by.

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Elizabeth Meinders

Elizabeth was the Blog Manager before she graduated with a BA degree in English & Public Relations in 2015. She is from Marshfield, WI and her interests include crafting, playing board games and snuggling with her cats.

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