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An Open Letter to the Fellow Indecisive

By Cara Cyr

Dear 18-year-old Cara,

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. You are about to embark on a journey that will change your life in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.

I know you don’t have it all figured out right now. I know you don’t know what to pick as your major. I know you don’t know whether to do a standard 4 year program or opt for a 5 year co-op program or accelerated Master’s degree. I know you don’t know anything about the city you are moving to and that you don’t know a single person at your college. And all of this is okay. Because soon enough, you will. You will take classes that pique your interest and lead you down the path of the academic discipline that is perfect for you. You will make the decision on whether or not to stay for a 5th year of school because it’s the right move for your career interests. You will discover some amazing restaurants and parks to relax in around your new home, and you will meet people to share these experiences with.

My best advice to you: seize every opportunity that comes your way, and then some. Work hard in your classes, get to know your professors, and find what you are truly passionate about. Having a professor that you can confide in will be invaluable in helping you to determine what you want to do for your career. Remember, if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life. Make sure you complete an internship, or maybe 4 different co-ops to really narrow down what you want to do beyond graduation. But never forget that college is about so much more than just getting that degree; you’ll never make it through without close friends by your side. Join any club that seems remotely interesting to you, and use that as a springboard to find your people and your niche. Get out of your comfort zone. If you’re given the opportunity to study abroad, take it. Maybe even do it twice. Do something you’re afraid of. Shy in high school? How about you get a job as a campus tour guide so you can break out of your shell and be confident in your public speaking skills. Fun fact: you’ll never be nervous for a presentation ever again. 

There will be lows and there will be hard times. But there will also be the highest of highs when you feel that you are unstoppable. Confidence is the key to all success. Never forget your roots, but never stop learning, growing, or pushing yourself forward to be the best version of yourself.

See you in (spoiler) 5 years,

Cara Cyr

Cara during her freshman year (left) and senior year (right)


About the author: My name is Cara Cyr and I recently graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2020 with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Systems Engineering, with focuses in robotics and controls. Throughout my time in college, I participated in the cooperative education program, worked for the Admissions Office as a student tour guide, was part of numerous honor societies, and served as the Vice President of our on-campus dance club. I now work as a Systems Engineer for Autonodyne, a Boston-based startup that creates software for autonomous drone systems. In addition to my passion for engineering, I am a Community Coordinator for EWAAB, where I help organize outreach programs to inspire confidence in young women around the world. In the little spare time that I have, I can be found on my couch cheering on the Bruins, in the dance studio tap dancing, or on a plane heading on my next great adventure!

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