Students feel pressured to decide their future


Alberto Silva Fernandez

A cap and tassel for the graduating class of 2021

Kristen Scheaffer, Staff Reporter

As the fall semester ends, some students will be wrapping up the last loose ends before crossing the stage. College can be daunting, knowing students must decide who they want to be at a young age.  

According to Liz Freedman, 20-50% of college students start college undecided and 75% change their majors at least once. Is 18 years old too early to make this decision? 

“I felt very put on the spot to be like, ‘I need to know for sure what I need to study and stick with it,” said UTEP senior Sabrina Sosa. “I feel like if you are still confused on who you are as a person, you feel pressure to decide on a certain topic based on what society would want you to do, or your family.” 

Then there are students who know exactly what they want to do but have no back-up plan because they cannot imagine what else they could do.  

“It is a lot of anxiety right now because I’m in the first phase of nursing and then the second phase of nursing is a little tough to get into because you have to apply, take an exam, and you have to maintain a really good GPA,” said Emily Gomez, a sophomore at UTEP.  

Some students’ families are insistent that they follow a specific degree path while others feel there is a societal push to go one direction, or another. 

“I feel like, ‘well, I want to do this, but I want to do this too, so I need to go through this route first, to get to this route,’ and I feel like that just builds that stress and anxiety,” Sosa said.  

According to NYU, six out of 10 college students state there was one or more times where they could not complete their work due to stress. How does one remedy this?  

There is hope. According to the University of Bridgeport, an undecided student has options: 

  • Explore your academic passions and take a variety of general classes to see what engages you 
  • Work alongside academic advisors 
  • Join clubs and organizations to help you find a sense of belonging  
  • Take advantage of career advising; there are many career options within each college 

At UTEP, students have access to the Career Center where they are provided with a timeline for their college career, a section dedicated to informing students what careers fall into what majors and the corresponding internships, a section on how to prepare for your career and a section on how to research careers. 

The Career Center’s resources are available to students in-person and remotely by calling 915-747-5640, scheduling an appointment by emailing [email protected], or visiting their website at 


Kristen Scheaffer is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected]