I'm a college student and have changed my major more times than I could count. I think I have an overall issue with just deciding to do "one" thing. And I understand that a degree doesn't define you and that plenty of people don't do work in the field of the degree that they pursued (mine is sociology - for now), but it's a deeper seeded issue. I don't want to be "glued down" to one job or one field for the rest of my life. I like to have the freedom to jump around and change things up every once in a while. I love people, but also need my "me time." It can be hard because sometimes it can make me feel like a social enigma. 

 

I know this has been extremely convoluted and confusing, but does anyone have advice concerning the "future"? How can I be worried but also completely apathetic about it at the same time (lol)? 

 

Should I be concerned about being scared of choosing a "path" and sticking to it? 

Comments

Weadee (not verified) says...

I'm in the same predicament as you and but it's not so bad beacause I'm only a junior in high school. I've always thought that when I get to university it'll work itself out...I guess not! I probably can't give you any advice (seeing that I don't even have a solution for myself!) but what were your other majors before?

Dvgarcia says...

They've all been centered around the same thing. I've bounced everywhere from nursing and pyhsical therapy to education and psychology. 

I don't want to discourage you at all, we're all different! You've got this! 

shubhkr says...

great

ellemrosen (not verified) says...

This sounds very familiar to an INFP's thought process when dedicing to do anything that requires narrowing focus... especially in college! It's completely normal to feel this way and you've described it perfectly. I think there is value in recognizing that you are exceptionally talented and possess a multitude of creative gifts. Instead of feeling like you have to just be good at one thing, it's important to see that there are no limits for you to excel in several fields both in college and in the future.

I reccomend choosing a major that encompasses your diverse talents and celebrates your vast interests. Personally, I chose to major in film in college with focus on avant-garde film study and documentary practical approach. The program had so much depth that I found it truly fascinating, invigorating, and representative of several subjects in one visual medium. For me, film is the study of the human spirit with the capacity to offer the deepest understanding of people, psychology, science, art, philosophy, etc. It's also subjective so there are not limits for interpretation. My creative voice was encouraged, appreciated and celebrated. Also I enjoyed sharing my learning environment with other creative intellectuals who shared my ideas and thinking process.

College is such a special time for INFP's, and I encourage you to go where you feel inspired. Good luck!

Quick says...

Hi,

IDK if this is going to help you or not, but I thought this might help put things in perspective.

https://youtu.be/pCceO_D4AlY?t=3m1s

gaurav says...

I came on this site to understant my personality because of this video .

Alicia Cheyanne (not verified) says...

Wow, this is eerily identical to the way that I felt in University. I can't tell you how many times I switched my major. I was terrifed of feeling "stuck" in one area. There were so many things that I wanted to do and then started doing and panicked because it wasn't what I thought or because I didn't want to get stuck.

This is what I did and it is (somewhat) working out for me. I graduated on time with a degree that I hated and will never, ever use. BUT, my time switching from major to major made me realize something. I love planning the future and seeing all of the possibilities of things that I could do. Because of that I am about to start grad school to become an academic advisor. It is the perfect fit for me. I will get to help students plan their futures and discuss all of the different possibilites with them.

Don't get me wrong, I still have moments of panic and wonder if it's what I actually want to do. But I have to take a step back, breathe and remind myself that it really is a good fit for me. It's hard and I think that it's always going to be hard for people who have similar thoughts to ours. My suggestion is to spend time thinking about what makes you happy outside of work. Then try to find a career similar to that.

Valeria Villasenor (not verified) says...

This is insane! This is exactly what has happened to me! I'v switched majors, ended up choosing one that I hated because I thought it was a safe major, and now I want to be an academic advisor to help others plan our their paths. 

Alicia Cheyanne (not verified) says...

Wow, that's awesome!! I highly recommend getting a job at a University to get some experience. Also, most university's offer some sort of tuition remission for their employees. I'm not sure if money is an issue, but you can save money that way because most advising positions require a masters degree. That's currently what I'm doing and it's working out really well :) 

Good Luck!

Jenna12457 (not verified) says...

This is my 3rd year in college, I have about 5 years total in college credits from dual-credits in high school, and I'm still technically a sophomore, so I could really relate to this post and felt compelled to comment. I actually have just figured out what I'm going to do, but it crept up on me in a really unexpected way.

While I was taking classes to be a communications major, I got a part time job at a daycare in a kindergarten class and eventually fell in love with everything about working with kids and how they were truly the most interesting little indivudals I had ever met. I changed my major to elementary education as soon as possible, and still do not regret it.

I think what I realized after a lot of thought is that although I felt a really strong love for the arts and my own artistic expression (I had always wanted to do something creative), I realized that I was someone who cares about people really deeply, and to be in a career where I can constantly feel the reward of helping people grow made me feel good about myself and my place in the world. I knew that this career would be something I would not be likely to grow apathetic about. I also knew that because I was good at seeing the best in people and what makes them unique, I could encourage my future students to pursue and expand their interests by sharing my own love of learning with them. 

I think the key thing I realized was in the end what was really important to me was the ethical value of my work. I always wanted the world to be a better place but often lacked the confidence to think I was a person capable of doing well in a career that would do just that. I think I would have been more likely to pursue teaching earlier had I known that it was something I could actually get good at, enjoy, and make a difference with. I just didn't have the confidence until I had on-the-job experience. 

This being said, I'm still super flighty, and although I'm not changing my degree and am committed to teaching, I am definitely interested in trying to get additional education to possibly pursue administration stuff or other education-related careers in the future to help abide my fear of getting bored and repetitive. What makes me feel most at peace is that I am working towards being able to help and influence a large number of people, hopefully all for the better. 

Xavier Guillaume (not verified) says...

It sounds like you do not have a firm grasp of who you are as a person, which is ironic because INFP types tend to be introspective. I think it has to do with extroverted intution being our secondary function. Extroverted intuition sees possibilities, and so you see endless possibilities of what you can do. What is important is to stop focusing on what you can do, and start focusing on what you want to do. Figure out what your dream is. Your career should be something that you wake up in the morning and you want to jump out of bed and do it. Your career should be something you are passionate about. We spend a third of our lives working, our career should be meaningful and integral to who we are.

Tss211 (not verified) says...

Picking a direction to focus on for college and beyond was a challenge for me as well (I'm an INFP) when I was in college and being forced to pick a major by the end of my Sophomore year.  That was about 16 years ago, and I did not know about the MBTI at all at that point.  I just recently came across this article that has the opposite advice of following one's passion: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/12/18/bad-career-advice-do-what-you-l... One of the most interesting aspects of this article for me was not thinking about doing what one loves, but doing what you feel good at doing and how you like to spend your time.  Which might sound simplistic, but I think to many INFPs that alone is no easy feat, but I feel like does help address the "what" to the extent that I think we INFPs  change the "what" we are interested in quite frequently (one week feminist literature, the next art history, perhaps the next community building), but if we think about the "how" we might like work/spend our time, we can think about if we want to talk and listen like a counselor a bit of time, or be more creative, or something else.  I thought it was cool and interesting that another post here talked about going into Academic Advising.  That is the path I took, earning a BA in Psych, a MS in Counseling with a focus in Higher Education.  Now I do Career Counseling in higher ed and like it the most out of any job I've had, it has the most options for creativity and for helping others to explore the possibilities.  I think for INFP in particular is very hard to find the "perfect" job, American jobs are just not set up that closely for how we operate, so unless you get really lucky there will probably be some compromise involved with your work. I can tell you that working in higher education in these advising capacities has been a bit of a balance between alone time and time spent listening and talking with others that seems to work for the most part and is not too socially draining.  It was not easy to pick a direction as I also enjoyed art and writing quite a bit and there are days where I wonder what those paths would have looked like.  It might be worth exploring your MBTI subtype and/or enneagram.  Lastly, pick up as many skills as you can (language, art, videography, etc.) and then choose the degrees that are going to give you the most leverage towards your primary goals (Masters in Counseling, BFA, etc.).  It may not happen immediately, but especially if you end up at a smaller employer (like a small college!), they may want you to wear a bunch of hats including some graphic design, some writing, some presenting, some client/customer advising, etc. which might help give you some of the variety that you crave.  That or you can always be angling for your next career move (taking night classes, picking up skills on the side), but you might find that if you pick a field and put a lot of work into getting there that you'd like to stay in the field, but move around a bit within it.  It's great that you are taking the time to explore and reflect on what you really want to pursue, you may never right the "right" or "perfect" path, but it will help you to allign with a path that is a better fit for you!

Bob Wells (not verified) says...

Of course we know nothing about your just those 4 letters. Odds are, you know little about yourself yet, just those 4 letters. So, I will offer my advice based on ly on those 4 letters and on my own experience.

I was like you, I had no idea what to do and so I ended up doing nothing and dropped out after 1 1/2 years. I worked in a grocery store all my life and just got by—being a union clerk I was paid well and raised a family and built up a passion. By pure luck in my 40s I found my passion, my mission, my goal, my meaning and purpose in life. In 2005 I started a website, in 2011 a started a YouTube channel and today I make more money at them than I ever made in my life and they bring me joy like I never had before.

If I could go back and do it again, I would go into communications, something like: writing, journalism, film or whatever appeals to you most. Then, when you find what brings you meaning, (the thing you will devote yourself to in order to bring healing to the world) you will be most ready to do it. 

Until you find your mission, it will just be a job, but if you go into filmmaking or journalism chances are it will help you to find your passion, your “one thing” that will drive you. And when you do find it, it will help you to do it to the best of your ability.

Whatever you decide, to be truly happy and satisfied with life, it must have meaning and be helping people—that’s who you are at the core of your being. Find a way to live a life that allows your compassion and empathy to come out.

Letting it flow through you will make you the happiest person you can be. Bottling it up will make for a truly miserable life.

David k (not verified) says...

Hi bob wells, 

That is very interesting that you came across YouTube as a career choice. I'm 23 and am thinking about starting a channel but am stuck as to what. Makes sense as you say film takes a lot of creativity.. YouTube allows us to talk about an array of topics also. What is your YouTube channel? 

HomebodyAlien (not verified) says...

I have felt your pain.  I went through the same thing in college, and in the end, being forced to make a decision, I made the most practical/lazy choice I could think of.  I was great at English/writing, so I just picked the thing I knew I was great at and could easily earn a degree in.  Too introverted to "keep" the writing emphasis and take journalism classes, interview people, etc., I changed my emphasis to English/Literature, and soaked in every minute of it.  I got to do more "enjoying" than struggling, and having a degree in English is general enough to get your foot in the door of many different types of places.  It's served me well in the years since.  I hope this helps.

AliD1109 (not verified) says...

Ah yes..being an INFP is a special kind of hell. I am 40 and I chose a career before I knew that I was an INFP and I am miserable. I'm starting to think I will never figure it out.

Candy (not verified) says...

I just turned 41. I switched majors in college to the point that I finally decided on Elementary Ed just to finish with something! I just found out I'm an INFP and came here for possible advise since I am literally suicidal most of the year while teaching.  I have switched grades, districts and subjects for 16 years and quit completely a couple of times hoping to make something else work. It never does. My husband doesn't understand me and my desire to not work in this type of environment.  I don't know what to do!

Ariel (not verified) says...

Hello!

I have experienced the same thing. I have been in college since July of 2011, and I have not completed one degree yet. I started in art school going for a Bachelors in media arts and animation, and then realized that th technology aspect of the field just wasnt for me, although the fine arts aspect of the degree was my favorite times i have experienced in college. I then went into a Bachelors in Criminal Justice with emphasis on Forensic Science, and quickly fell short and exhausted of the coursework of that degree as well. I am currently enrolled in a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, emphasis on Entrepreneurship, and I am half way done with this degree. I believe this is the one I am going to finish, finally, because the opportunities for me after graduation are endless. Opening up my own bakery, or opening some sort of craft store, or really anything that I want to do after this degree is something that really thrills me, and makes me hopeful that I am making the correct decision. Nobody can tell the "future", but if you remain true to your core values, and you have an idea of what will fulfill you when you are older and reflecting on your life, you will have an idea of what to go to school for. My advise is, what would you want to do for the rest of your life that would feel like you werent working? "Working" is such an exhausting reason to get out of bed and make money... but LOVING, or CREATING, or DESIGNING, or whatever it may be that you are interested in, making money by doing what your passionate about isn't really working. It is living. I hope this helps.

Best of luck to you!

Ariel

jteeter says...

I too have struggled with this. Growing up, I was on a somewhat clear path to being an actress/singer. It was what I excelled at and I always had fun doing it. In high school, I started to tire of it. I felt that it wasn't meaningful enough to me for a career and I got bored. All of my life I have had these expectations that THIS is what I am supposed to do. I've spent countless hours pondering other directions to move in but never gotten anywhere with it. I feel like I have moments of clarity only to feel that my wants and desires change constantly. I often think that maybe I need to think more practically to actually make a decision. I've felt like I was supposed to have this career as an actress but I get bored with it a lot of the time. I don't care about being rich or having a fancy life. I just want to connect with people in my community and uplift them in a positive way. I don't want to feel like I'm just working to get attention. I want to bring joy to peoples lives in a personal way. How can I do this? I've thought about doing something in psychology such as music therapy but I've constantly talked myself out of that because it doesn't feel like a practical job. I feel that I continually go around in circles and I need to finally break the cycle. Help? I'm now 5 years out of college and in my late twenties. I am tired of this. 

 

 

Anette (not verified) says...

Music therapy sounds like a great choice! I would have chosen that myself if I could sing. Or maybe you can become a music or acting teacher. Sharing your talent and love for music and acting with others who love it too would give you meaning. Please dont give up. Wish you the best.

David Bachofen (not verified) says...

I feel you. Same happens to me. But its somehow comforting to know that we are not alone

Xavier Cachon (not verified) says...

Classic INFP situation. I also studied Sociology in college (graduated 2017) mainly because Sociology includes almost every topic (ha)! Economics, Anthropology, Biology, History, you name it Sociology covers it. After graduating in 2017 I completed a service year with AmeriCorps VISTA helping very low-income public housing residents achieve self-sufficiency, but after finishing that up a few months ago I've felt very lost. It's very hard to figure "your path" as an INFP, especially a young INFP. My main advice is to try to spend as much time with yourself as possible. In other words, stop distracting yourself from your own thoughts. I know as an INFP that can be very challenging (because everything seems so confusing and it blows your mind that people are able to make decisions about their entire career path or romantic life) but it's extremely important to not distract yourself. My main struggle is stop spending so much time in my vices which keep me from realizing my path. Having an INFP brain is hella confusing but I wouldn't trade it for the world. We're truly special people because we can listen and empathize with others at a level that other personality types simply can't match. My long-term goal is to be a counselor because I want to help people on the deepest emotional level possible. But sometimes it's hard to see how to make that work or to stay focused as an INFP (we get distracted very easily). Stay focused, don't put yourself down, and spend time with yourself! You'll make it

IsabellaC (not verified) says...

I totally get thestruggle from the time i have been in colege and then transferred colleges i have probably switched majors 10 times. I am now an International affairs major and sociology minor. A lot of people have told me, "this major will get you nowhere in life" or " you do not really make a lot of money in that career"? Is that really all people care about is what to do next or how much money you make? I feel it should be about the passion and happiness you get out of it. I have tried to figure out in life what i am truly passionate about. Thinking of what career in life would not simply just be a job, but a passion of mine. I want to be able to enjoy "work" aka my passion everyday. Although.i am still having touble coming up with one particular passion I could focus on. Some of mine include: animals and conservation, helping people, volunteering or helping people in poor countries, films/documentaries, etc. I have not been able to find what career is best for me, but who at the age of 20 has their life all figured out!?! I am sure all if not a lot of you can relate to this. If you have any suggestions for me please let me know. 

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