Unclear With No Fear

When I came to UNCW I was the definition of undecided.  Growing up, whenever I was asked in school what my “dream job” was I never had an answer.  Sure, I had passions including media, music, and history but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to peruse or how I would do it. One thing I never doubted was how much I enjoyed learning and experiencing new things. This is why I never let the fact that I didn’t have a future plan cemented hold me back.

While at UNCW, I have had truly amazing experiences both academically and personally. In both the Communication Studies major and History minor I have had amazing teachers who challenged me to think in new ways.  Also, through taking part in the Honors program here at UNCW I have had the opportunity to work on a undergraduate research project and take a trip to DC all while making friends that I am sure will be a part of my life forever.

One of the greatest opportunities that I had while at UNCW was the chance to study abroad in Swansea, Wales. Prior to my six months there I had never even left the country. If you would have told Freshman Olivia that she would have the opportunity to travel to six countries in two weeks on a bus she would have said you were crazy. During my time abroad, I grew in ways as a person that I never could have predicted and gained a confidence I never had before.

(Neath Abbey in Wales)

4 years later, with graduation just weeks away, I am honestly still slightly undecided about what I want to do with my life. I am leaning towards working in the field of live entertainment, whether that be through promotion, marketing, or event planning or going to graduate school.  However, no matter what field I end up going into I know my experiences at UNCW and specifically the COM Department will help me to succeed!

-Olivia Sadler

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21 thoughts on “Unclear With No Fear

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post because it resonates with me. I am so undecided about my life and it is encouraging to read that it is okay to be undecided. I have plenty of time to decide as a sophomore, but it is so scary to not know where you are going or what you want to do. I also am planning to do the study abroad in Swansea, so it’s nice to read that you enjoyed the experience. Thanks for such a hopeful and helpful blog post! I wish you the best of luck in your career!

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I am similar to you in that I’ve never known what I wanted to do growing up and still don’t have a solid idea but while taking COM classes I’m getting a better idea of what I’m good at and what I enjoy doing. I still have a year to go but I’m optimistic that things will work out. Good luck in the future and I’m sure you’ll be ready for whatever you end up doing with everything the COM department has taught you!

  3. How enlightening to know I am not the only one who has no clue what I want to do with my life (career wise). I envy those who seem to have it all figured out. I see people younger than me already in successful careers and I think, “man, I’m so far behind”. I’ve realized that it’s ok to not have everything all figured out. I have a general idea of careers that interest me. I am testing the waters right now. My family puts pressure on me to graduate and get a high paying job, but I am more concerned with finding a job I am passionate about and that makes me happy. I also don’t think you can simply measure success by what career you have. My sister is a stay at home mother and to me, she is successful. She has a beautiful family, she has the time to explore her passion for teaching (she homeschools), and crafting, and living healthy. Before I get bogged down working long hours at some redundant job, I’d like to travel and explore my options. So, don’t worry so much about what is next. Enjoy now, take every opportunity and adventure that is presented to you and whatever you choose, make sure you are happy.

  4. I love this blog post. I agree even with graduation so close being undecided is common. I am glad UNCW is such a great place with such a great COM department. so awesome that studying abroad gave you new experiences! I have never left the country but after reading this it might be a good idea! Good luck with your future!

  5. It is so nice to hear that someone is still undecided about what to do with their life after college. With all the pressure around that tells you to pick something and to choose by your junior or senior year can be really overwhelming. It was also really nice to hear about your study abroad experience. I myself with be leaving the country for the first time studying abroad and its a little intimidating. But I know I will gain a lot from it, just like you have. I know the knowledge the com department and the history department will take you far. Good luck with your future career!

  6. What a beautiful story! Its great to see that you have had such an amazing experience while attending UNCW. I completely agree. It is nice being a part of a community that everyone is so welcoming and always doing anything they can to help further you in life. UNCW completely changed my life, as I’m sure it did for you as well. The beautiful thing about life is that it is YOUR choice of what you want to end up doing with your life. Having UNCW as a background and the COM department in your corner is definitely only going to propel you to a very bright future. Best of luck!

  7. Man do I hear you on that! I am a rising senior and still have no idea what sort of job I aim to have after graduation. Theres just too many options and paths that I could want to do! Don’t limit yourself, and strive for what you want out of live because what else could you do? You’ll end up where youre meant to be! Good luck with all future endeavors!

  8. I loved reading your story! Like Taylor said, I can also relate because I am pretty undecided as well. I know what I like to do and have a general idea of what I would like to do in the future, but I have never been one to plan every moment of my life, especially career choices. I love that you are open to experiencing new things and made the most of your college career! I think you did exactly what college is meant for you to do… to find yourself, to experience new things, and to grow as a person. Good luck to you in your future and congrats on graduating!

  9. I can definitely relate in the way that I have no idea what I will do once I graduate, although like you, I’m not really worried or scared because I know my education will have prepared me in so many ways I have yet to imagine. As I continue in the Communication Studies program, I feel more and more sure that I chose the right path as far as my major, and I am optimistic that things will work out for not only me, but for you as well! Congratulations on graduating in a couple weeks, and great post!

  10. Great way to describe how you grew from an incoming freshman to a senior in college. I really enjoyed reading it! I think that everyone has had some feeling of being not for sure about what they are going to do when they leave college. This is also a great blog to show prospective students that COM majors have a large variety with what they can do with their degree!

  11. Olivia,

    First off, I would like to thank you for such an honest post. In this day and age, especially with our peers, it is unusual to hear someone admit that they have been lost with no direction when it came to choosing a major. Interestingly enough, I am also a Communication Studies major and a History minor. It was very interesting to learn how similar our paths have been in our college experience, especially in that these two choices fueled our career decision so similarly. It’s refreshing to see someone reflect the constant sentiment of satisfaction that every person I’ve talked to that came out of the COM department. I wish you all the best after your graduation and I thank you for your post!

  12. I’m totally in the similar situation with this blog. I’m international student from South Korea as an exchange student in UNCW this semester. Time really flies and the semester almost ended. From now on, I learned and experienced lots of things here and wholly agree that go abroad and experience bigger world really helps me to change in a better way. And still I didn’t decide what to choose as my future career, but I also believe try new things will be helpful for me in any way.

  13. Great blog post Olivia, I think everyone could relate in some way! I, too, struggle with not knowing exactly what next step to take when it comes to making moves toward a career, and often times I get really discouraged because of it. I really appreciate your positive attitude and lightheartedness about this, however, and will also try to mimic that behavior when approaching difficult decisions about the future. Thanks for the insight!

  14. It honestly makes me feel extremely comfortable knowing that I’m not the only one out there who is completely unsure on what they want to do with their life. It is a relatively unsettling feeling knowing that graduation is rapidly approaching and that we will all be thrown out into the real world expected to get jobs and start our lives. However, UNCW is a great outlet for new experiences and potential future opportunities.

  15. I can completely relate. Currently, as a COM Major, I still have no idea what I’d like to concentrate on, whether it’ll be marketing, event planning, PR, or some other aspect. I’m still exploring my options. But like your story, I’ve also been hesitant in the past to embrace new experiences, such as studying abroad, and now I’m trying to tell myself to go for these adventures, to experience new things, and push myself a little bit out of my comfort zone for once. You’ve definitely made me reconsider traveling abroad, considering you said you would have never considered it when you were younger. Thank you for giving me this insight!

  16. Reading this, really spoke to me about studying abroad. I have never left the country either and have always been skeptical of studying abroad. I want to do it but seeing as I would have to pay for a lot myself I want to make sure I choose the perfect place and go at the right time. After reading your post however, it makes me feel like I don’t need to be thinking so hard. I need to just do it and enjoy myself and gain an experience that will last me a lifetime!

  17. I am in the same boat as you. I am unsure of what direction I want to take my degree. However, the fact that you have grown an exponential amount while at UNCW means a lot. I love how appreciative you are! Also, it is an inspiration to hear how much you took advantage of the honors and studying abroad programs while not knowing exactly what you want to do.

    Time will tell, have faith Olivia.

  18. I was very similar when arriving here on campus. And I am honestly terrified of graduating this semester. I’m glad to hear that you are so confident towards the end of the semester. My favorite things in this major is being able to look at something from such a unique angle. Being able to use the things we have all learned in every day life is unique to our major.

    I have a roommate who is a Chemistry major, she hates some classes she has to take because they don’t pertain to what she wants to do. With ours, quite literally every class gives us something to use daily. I’m also wanting to go towards event coordination/management. So I wish you much luck! And a little advise, avoid Bear Claw events, unless you want to sell Direct TV at Sams club. Friendly advise! Good luck.

  19. I am the exact same way. Growing up I was so jealous of my sister who always had an answer and knew exactly what she wanted to do. I am still very undecided and now have three majors. The reason why Communication Studies is one of my majors is because there are so many different things you can do with Com I feel like I have the opportunity to learn about many different topics. In addition, once we graduate there is not one set path for Com majors. I like that I don’t have to decide what I want to do right now because the Com major can be applicable in so many different jobs.
    I hope that I can also go abroad for a semester someday! I’m worried that I won’t have the time. However I went on mini study abroad to Belize with our department and that was an amazing experience! Congratulations on graduating! Remember that today is the first day of the rest of your life.

  20. Olivia, I enjoyed and relate to your post. I would be interested in following your journey, as I also share passion for media and music. I would also like to pursue some sort of involvement with live music event planning. If you’d like to network , my uncw email is srs2566. I would venture to say I’ve made some helpful professional connections in town and I’d be curious to hear of your experiences as well. Best wishes and congrats on graduating!

  21. Thank you for sharing this! I think a lot of students can relate to that feeling of choosing a college and having absolutely no idea where they’re path is going. I am so happy you found your niche in the the Communication Studies department and I am also incredibly happy/jealous that you went on the trip to Wales! It looks so beautiful! As you graduate, I hope you feel 100% accomplished with your time hear,as it sounds like you do. I truly wish you the best and think you will thrive in the live entertainment business. Good luck and stay in touch with everyone from your temporary home here in Wilmington!!

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