Choosing a major in college can be a tough decision to make, especially if you have no idea what kind of career you want to pursue. And if you’re an indecisive person like me, you know this decision can be even more challenging. One thing to keep in mind when it comes time to declare a major is to know your interests and what you enjoy. This is how I decided to become an English: Applied and Professional Writing major.  

But it took some time to figure out.

Early in my college career, I honestly thought I was going to be one of those people who wouldn’t choose a major until at least their junior year. I was apprehensive to commit myself to something because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, and it was scary to think of all the time and money that would be spent on classes I no longer needed if I decided to change my major. But there was always a little voice in my head telling me to pursue the thing I enjoyed and was good at—English.  

Once the second semester of my sophomore year rolled around, I decided to really kick it in gear and choose a major. I eventually set up a meeting with the then-Head of the English Department, Dr. Krase, and learned about the different majors the English Department offered. What really caught my attention was the Applied and Professional Writing major. It was the newest major within the department and also the most versatile. It was exactly what I was looking for, a major that could be applied to different professional areas and could allow me to study in the field I enjoyed the most.

Majoring in English is something I have yet to regret.

Although, I will admit, there were times when I naturally questioned my decision and even considered stepping away from school for a year to reevaluate my life (which I’m glad I didn’t do!), earning a degree in Applied and Professional Writing is something I will be proud of. I have grown so much as a writer and have learned so much about where my writing skills can be applied outside the classroom.

My classes have allowed me to create and work on a lot of interesting projects like informational videos, a children’s story, and websites. I’ve also had ample opportunity to learn more about myself through writing personal essays. I think this is why I’ve always been drawn to the field of English because it allows me to create. And this is just what I’ve been doing in my required classes.

The journey’s been great, now what about the future?

Good question. I can’t say that I have a clear picture of the kind of career I want just yet. When going into this major, I wasn’t really thinking about the end goal. I was more focused on refining the skills I already had, which I feel isn’t a bad thing to do. In all honestly, it really doesn’t matter what major you choose because earning a degree in general shows that you have the determination to earn it and that you are able to learn and expand your knowledge. And choosing a degree in one field doesn’t necessarily determine your fate of only obtaining a job in that field—although it does help if that’s your goal. 

Although I don’t know what the future holds, I feel that the last leg of my required courses is helping me prepare for the job market. I have just finished compiling an eportfolio of some of the various essays and projects I’ve completed in college, and by the time I graduate, I’ll have completed my internship with the MarComm Department, where I’m currently applying the web and genre writing skills I’ve been learning.

So, here’s my advice:

If you’re someone who is struggling to choose a major because you don’t know what you want to do, I would say, it’s definitely important to explore the options that are out there. But it’s also important to know what you like to study and what you like to do. I feel that this is even more important than choosing a major based on how much money it can make you. At the end of the day, you’ll be the one who needs to take those classes and put in the work, so I think it’s important to choose something you enjoy doing or at least have interest in and want to learn more about. I think it would also be smart to choose something that can help you use or develop skills that can be applied to more than one professional area.

Authored by Anjuli Harris

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