A marine biologist. That’s all my fifth grade self wanted to be. I loved dolphins and killer whales and just knew I was born to be a marine biologist.
But then I took my first “real” science class in tenth grade. To say I struggled would be a vast understatement. As hard as I tried, I didn’t understand the anatomy of an atom let alone the entire periodic table. Science just wasn’t (and still isn’t) for me.
So, my dream of becoming a marine biologist was crushed. What was I going to do now?
I didn’t feel anything else pull me in particular, and while everyone was choosing what college they were going to, I was still stumped as to what I would study when I actually did choose a school.
As an incoming freshman, I was the dreaded “UNDECIDED” major. I signed up for some general classes…I think one of them had to do with the extinction of dinosaurs. As the end of the semester neared, I knew I had to make a decision sooner or later.
So I decided. Mass Communications. Seemed like an all right major at the time and I was in a panic about my future. I felt good. But then a nagging feeling came. Mass communications wasn’t exactly what I was passionate about. I knew I had to figure out what was really right for me.
So here’s what I did.
I thought about what I liked. It sounds so simple, I know, but sometimes it’s just that–simple.
I think our passions are so inherent in us that sometimes we can’t even put our fingers on what they really are. I thought to myself, “What are you passionate about?” and let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy process to find out. I wrote down a list.
Culture, traveling, grammar, writing papers, dancing….these were a few things on my list. I remember looking up and down the piece of paper and thinking, “Great. Let me just major in grammar and traveling. I can be one of the traveling, dancing grammar police.” That sounds ridiculous, but when you pick apart your interests, you really find areas of study. I like traveling and culture, so I decided on Global Studies and Spanish. I like writing and grammar, so I added an English Writing major.
Here is my advice to those people who still have the “UNDECIDED” cloud hanging above their heads: think about what excites you, what intrigues you, what you see yourself doing twenty years down the road when you close your eyes.
What parts of classes have inspired you? And when you start to choose what major is for you, don’t listen much to the people who say, “Oh, you’re not going to get a job in that field” or “Well, you’re not going to make enough money doing that.”
Pick a major that you’re going to enjoy for the next few years, and make sure that the major you choose gives you the opportunity for a career you’ll continue to be passionate about.
I’ve learned a lot from changing, switching, upgrading, downgrading, dropping and adding majors. I’ve learned not to let others judge your passions and interests. I’ve learned that the best part of a college education is that you have the power to decide what you learn.
And I’ve learned that truly enjoying your education is important. And the biggest lesson of all has been to…(prepare yourself)…follow your heart.