Picking a major about passion, inspiration — not stress

Picking a major in college is probably one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

Now that I have declared, I’m happy with what I have chosen to do (this). But it was a long, difficult road to get here.

When I arrived at UDM, I really had no idea what I wanted to do or be, so I took the advice of many people in my life who said I should get a business degree because I could pretty much do anything with it, once I decided what I wanted to do.

So, I walked into my first day of college as a business major, with no idea what I was getting myself into.

After a few weeks of classes, I realized that business probably was not for me. I dropped the intro to business course.

Once again, I felt lost.

In changing my major to academic exploration (the fancy way of saying “undecided”), I gained the freedom to really explore my options and see all of what UDM had to offer me.

I took a bunch of random courses, and tried to find my likings while filling the core objectives.

I took courses in economics, criminal justice, accounting, political science, human sexuality, psychology, the Holocaust, and a bunch of other subjects, but none really fit me.

Then one day in November 2014, I was creating my winter 2015 – second semester of sophomore year; A.K.A. pick-a-major time – schedule, and I was pretty much just looking for any somewhat interesting course that would work with my schedule.

News Writing & Reporting I. Tuesday/Thursday, 11:20-12:35, with Prof. Tom Stanton.

Click. I enrolled. 

Little did I know it would be the course that would change my endlessly-looking-for-a-major life.

I walked into that class, expecting it to be like all the others, and I walked out by declaring a major in communication studies, with a focus in journalism.

Throughout the course, I realized that all the little things I liked about the random courses I took could be applied in journalism.

For example, I like politics, but not enough to be a political science major. But in journalism, I can write about politics.

Or in the criminal justice class I took, I really liked the investigation aspect of things. In journalism, you have to be good at investigating sources, people, etc.

Everything I had been looking for was summed up in this one course.

It took about a month and half into news writing before I was sure that this was what I wanted to do.

Looking back, I think about how long I felt pressured and stressed about picking a major.

High school, junior high, even in elementary school, we were constantly being told to think about what we wanted to be when we “grew up.”

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for my entire first year of college, let alone my time in junior high or elementary school.

I get that people want kids to start thinking about their future at an early age, and it’s all supposed to be light hearted and fun. But, truthfully, can kids really have a clue until they start actually taking courses?

The bottom line is this: If you don’t have a major picked before college, there is no need to worry.

Even if you’re in college and you still haven’t picked, that’s okay, too.

You will find a class or a professor who will inspire you and make you have a sudden realization that will change your college career.

It might take a few semesters, but you will find the thing that is meant for you.

So for all of you academic explorers: Do not fret. 

You will find your groove, and it will be awesome.