Ask Athena: Do Something

Whatever your chosen path, the outcome depends on you. 

Q: I took a few years off after graduating high school and now I’m ready to hit the books in college. I’ve already been accepted into my dream schools, now I just have to decide which dream to follow. One thing I know, I want to help as many people as possible, and change the world for good. Should I go for a law degree? Medical? Journalism? Politics? Science? Where’s the best direction to focus my talents and passion during these challenging times?  — All In, East Germantown

A: Good for you, helping people! Any of the professions you mentioned could be your path to making a difference in this life – and many more careers you didn’t mention. Truth is, where you make your mark isn’t as important as HOW you do it. There’s not one facet of our modern experience that couldn’t be improved and uplifted. Your task now as an undergraduate isn’t to lock into one track, but rather to explore lots of them and see where your passions lead you.

College will change you. The biggest challenge will be resisting pressures to conform and take a cushy paycheck. You will almost certainly find that it’s easier and more financially rewarding to milk the status quo rather than improve it. If you really want to change the world, you need to be willing to buck the mold.

Helpfully, there are lots of great books (and movies!) by and about people who felt a call to action, just like you do. Their stories will help you envision the life you’re planning, so try to pick individuals you can relate to. Research local influencers and organizations that are as focused as you are, and find ways to engage. Use your time in college to network and build relationships that can sustain you in your search for a fulfilling vocation.

Be true to yourself, even if your dream changes. My best wishes to you at this exciting stage in your life!

Agree or Disagree? Please comment below.
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Read last month’s Ask Athena here.

About Athena 45 Articles
When she’s not advising mortals, Athena spends her time on earth in NW Philly with her husband, two sons and a day job where she’s paid to tell important people what to do (naturally). Send your questions to

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