We’ve all been there: the moment in your high school guidance counselor’s room when he or she pops the dreaded question, “What do you plan to major in?” Then and there your heart drops because how the hell is an 18-year-old who doesn’t even know what she is doing this weekend supposed to know what she wants to do for the rest of her life?
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who knew since the age of four what your dream job entails, but that was just not the case for me. When my guidance counselor dropped the big question, I had no clue how to respond.
She advised me to go into college undecided so I could explore major options.
Taking her advice, I spent my freshman year taking gen eds, none of which really impressed me. I reached the middle of my second semester freshman year not knowing anymore than before what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. All I knew is that I enjoyed drawing, writing and being creative. I told this to my advisor who lectured me through the super competitive, intense design program. I walked out of that meeting more stressed than I was before I walked in.
I thought for a few more weeks and on a whim decided to take the writing path and major in journalism. I enjoy writing. What could go wrong?
Well, two days deep in my journalism course I was freaking out. I hated everything we were doing. I did not like the fact that I had to keep up with the news and politics, stay active on Twitter and interview random people on campus. I don’t know the first thing about politics and with all the sh–t going on right now, I could never keep up. Ultimately, I knew this was not the right path for me.
I was a planner-freak, supposedly super organized sophomore with a major she hates. It was my worst nightmare. I once again trudged to the advisor’s office for an express appointment. I vented to them how I hated journalism, but I love writing.
The advisor offered up a major in the communications school. I decided it didn’t hurt to try at this point. All the communication courses seemed to be up my alley and interesting enough. Entering my second semester sophomore year, I felt relieved to tell people I officially declared a major. But the question still lingered if I would actually enjoy it.
There was no big a-ha moment that strategic communications was my perfect major, but it just felt right. The fact that I was enjoying my classes and wanting to learn more was a reassuring feeling. I finally felt like I had found my place at college. The major allowed me to improve my writing skills while expressing my creativity.
Now as a junior, I have no set career path I want to take. This is not a scary thought though because strategic communications has given me experience in multiple fields. I feel confident that I can succeed in any social media, writing or editing position. I hope to find a job that allows me to be creative and impact people around me.
For those of you who have not found the perfect major, please do not worry. Try to figure out what you like to do and go from there. There is no rush despite everyone making you think you have to know exactly what you want to do at the young age of 18. Take your time, talk to you advisors and don’t stress. I promise you will find it, even if it takes a few years.