Illustration by Elly Cactei.

Illustration by Elly.

There is so much pressure to pick a major, or a school, or a career path. Parents and teachers freak out about it. You may be freaking out about it. It can be hard, with matters of such intensity, to take a step back and see that you are ultimately in control, and that you can change your mind. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve studied a subject, or been at a college, or worked in a certain field—if you know something else is better and right for you, you can give yourself the permission to try it.

We talked to a few people we admire, all of whom made the decision to change the course of their studies, or their careers, or both. And you know what? Not one of them regrets it. Click on their names, and they’ll explain why.

Allis Markham is a taxidermist and the owner of Prey Taxidermy in Los Angeles.

Chris Peters is a fashion designer. He is the co-founder and co-designer of Creatures of the Wind.

Emily V. Gordon is a Los Angeles–based writer and comedy producer for NBC and Comedy Central, among other places. She is the author of Super You.

Mogau Sewela is a chef. She is the owner of The Lazy Makoti, a cooking school in South Africa that also sells kitchen utensils and supplies.

Jacqueline Moreno is a computer science student at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Ellen Van Dusen runs her own clothing and home design studio, Dusen Dusen, which is based in Brooklyn.

Christine Chen is a recruiter for a global management consulting firm in New York City. She specializes in inclusion and diversity.

Naomi Hildner is a musician and educator in Oak Park, Illinois.

Interviews as told to Tavi Gevinson and Diamond Sharp.