I am supposed to give a persuasive speech for my oral communications class, and it is going to be about how expanding your experiences can improve your ability to decide on a major for college.It sounded like a good topic, and I think the people in my class could benefit from it,as we are all students, and I am pretty sure some of us haven't decided. 

I know that experience should help someone know what they are interested in. However, I have found, it really clouded up the decision making process. The more options I had, the worse it got. I couldn't make a decision for years, and at one point, decided to give up. I was sure I would never make up my mind.

I do realize I have made up my mind, eventually. I also think the extra experiences led me to think of nutrition. That didn't happen for me until I had the weight loss through better diet and increased activity and fitness experience. So, maybe that means this experience thing works.  Slowly for me, it worked. Honestly, I wish I made this decision years ago. But, if I had, I might not have gone to culinary school. I might not have gone to Italy. I might not have met the people I met, and learned the things about myself I have learned. 

Does this mean I don't have trouble figuring out how to write this paper, or how to get these other students to understand there really isn't a good substitute for the experiences, and the time it takes to make a good decision? Maybe. But, I feel I should be honest with them about how I frequently felt I might have been wasting my time along the way. I don't feel the experiences were wasted time. I know so much more now that I did. I still don't feel like I have done anything more than scratched the surface on all of the things a human could possibly ever learn. I do know, though, that I am a bit farther down the road, and no more foolish than I was when I started. 

All we have, at the end of the day, is whatever we have experienced. We mean what we mean to the people who care about us. And, our lives are worth whatever we decide they mean. I can't tell these people anything they do not want to know, can't teach them anything they don't want to learn. All I feel like I can do is share what I think is what, with facts behind it,and hope it is enough.  Either that, or just attempt to make sure I get a decent grade....Just kidding. I hope it helps them think, and figure out the end of the world doesn't come from not knowing at 18 to 24 years old what you want to be when you grow up. I sure had no idea. And, I think I didn't turn out horrible.

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Comment by tom sarbeck on April 13, 2018 at 3:46am

Rhonda, I was a “professional student” and took ten years, one of them in graduate school, to learn that people would pay me to tell computers what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and importantly when to stop doing it.

Along the way I learned some math and science, quit Catholicism and all religion, learned some physics, accounting, economics and law. Out of school I learned public speaking, entered politics and ran in one primary election, retired to maybe go to law school but instead returned to college to study art and the social sciences, and then researched political history for a book on political and personal power. During that time I was married for six years to a very nice woman who, like me, had no desire to add to the earth’s population.

I loved to learn and at 87 am still learning.

Experience is, IMO, the most valuable ‘thing’ of all, and if others want to experience having children I wish them well.

As for persuasive speaking, I may someday undertake to learn it.

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