Have you ever questioned if your passion was enough? For as long as I can remember I have always had the desire to help people. I volunteered at numerous places including my local library and pediatric care facility.
When I came into college I did not have a declared major, but I knew that whatever field I decided to pursue, it would involving helping people.
I learned about Occupational Therapy (OT) at the end of freshman year. This field stuck out to me because it provided a fun service to those in recovery. Since my school only offered OT as a graduate program, the most similar major to declare in undergrad was Recreational Therapy (RT). So by the end of freshman year, I was officially a RT student.
In the fall of sophomore year, I returned excited to pursue this field for the rest of my college career.
My classes consisted of learning about the importance of inclusion and how to engage those with a disability. Although, I had the most fun completing required volunteer hours outside of class. There were stressful days but those service hours confirmed it was important for me to make meaningful connections with others. I yearned to see patients accomplish things they did not believe was possible for them to do again.
The psychology and anatomy classes were enjoyable as well, requiring me to understand the human body and mind better. But as my studies progressed, I found that the RT classes themselves were not stimulating anymore. The discussions felt irrelevant to my interests.
The class that made me realize RT was not for me anymore was about assessment and documentation.
Therapy requires a lot of paperwork for facility and insurance reasons, so this class was essential to the field. The one major assignment was to complete a patient assessment alone, counting for forty percent of our grade. The effort put into the assignment determined if we got to work with a partner.
I had no motivation to complete that assignment simply because I did not care about it. The professor pulled me aside and said I did poorly so I could not work with a partner. This was a huge blow to me because I failed myself. My disappointment finally made me question why I did not put in the effort to do well. Then and there I knew my lack of effort was because I did not care. If I couldn’t put the effort in for the class, then I will not be able to pursue this as a career.
It was difficult for me to officially make the decision to change my major.
I was so far along in my studies and I already had an internship lined up for the following semester. I thought about sticking it out the next year just to earn my degree. But putting off the decision made me more stressed. It couldn’t focus in other classes because I constantly wondered why I was there. I questioned why I was still in school.
Luckily, I had the support of my friends to talk my issues out. They encouraged me to make a change, but to be smart about it. Switching my major fall of my junior year is sure to set my graduation back. This requires more money. After talking to my parents, they understood that the degree would be a waste if I was not planning to pursue that field afterwards. With this support, I began looking at the other majors at my university.
I really had to evaluate my interests, skills and possible career choices. RT made me realize I did not have to take care of people in order to help them. The best part from my experiences in RT were the relationships I formed with the patients. From involvement in organizations on campus, I knew event planning and writing were two things I enjoyed. I narrowed my major down to two schools: Hospitality and Tourism and Media and Communication schools.
I made the final decision to pursue a degree in Media and Communication because I did not want to focus on business.
This school had multiple majors that appealed to me. This major offered diverse classes including advertising, media studies and production, journalism and communication influence.
I officially started classes as a Comm. studies major the spring of my Junior year and since then I have never been happier. I love all of my courses because they tap into all the different skills I have and work to improve them. I am able to express my creativity to produce meaningful projects, something I have never done in college.
I do not regret changing my course of study.
If anything, I wish I came into college with this major so I would have been able to seize even more opportunities. But who knows, if I had come in with this major I could have switched to the health field. I believe things happen for a reason and I am glad this is what I am pursuing.
My advice to anyone feeling unsatisfied or unfulfilled with their major is that you are not stuck. There may be financial obstacles and familial challenges in the way, but pursuing something you have a passion for is more important. That is where greatness happens and that is how you accomplish meaningful things in life.