Monday, May 5, 2014

How I Chose My Majors

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It seems that as soon as you become a high schooler, people automatically assume that it is appropriate to ask you what college you are thinking of attending. You could be in your first week of freshmen year and somebody brave will ask you what your plans for college are, to which you stutter and say that you aren't quite sure because you are a freshman in high school. This question never ends. People will ask you, in various different ways, where you plan on attending or where you are currently attending. Once you decide on your university, a new question appears: "What do you plan on studying?". I'm not entirely sure which question is worse.

I used to admit that I wasn't sure what I wanted to study, mostly because I knew the reaction I would get wouldn't be one that I wanted to see. Adults, in my experience, like to hear that you're going to school so you can work in the medical field or become a lawyer, or any prestigious job in their eyes. When I started telling adults that I was going to school for journalism, there was a distinct face they'd give me. It wasn't quite a smile, but it wasn't a frown. It was just a look that said "Are you sure?" And I was sure.

Coming to the decision that I wanted to study Communications, and even more specifically, Journalism,  took me a couple of years. My first two years of high school, I assumed that I would just become an English teacher. I liked to read, I liked to write, and I liked helping people. Somewhere during the end of my sophomore year, I realized that teaching was a lot of work and if I didn't love it with every part of my being, I would be miserable, so I checked that off of my tiny list. I knew from the start that I wanted my job to have nothing to do with math and science. I couldn't function in a medical background, as blood and bodily fluids make me nauseous. I was stuck in this place where I assumed that I would just have to go to law school like many of my family members. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of it, but what other options did I have?

In the same weekend, I watched 13 Going On 30 and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (two of my favorite movies) and had a revelation. I wanted to work for a magazine. I'd always loved writing, I was beginning to get into fashion and beauty, and I was legitimately happy when I was flipping through magazines. Everything seemed to fall into place so easily that I merely assumed that it was fate that I found this career path for myself. I don't know how I mentioned it to my mother the first time, but I do remember adding "…but I could always go to law school." I also distinctly remember her telling me that I shouldn't waste my time there because I was far too creative to be a lawyer. From the get-go, I had a support system from the people that mattered the most: my family. That was key in my decision making, and I truly feel sorry for people who don't have a similar support system. From then on, the faces or comments I got after telling people my area of study didn't bother me much anymore. 

My senior year of high school, some of my Spanish class and I went to Spain for a week and that is when I decided that this was something that I wanted to do as well. I always liked Spanish, but I assumed I just attributed it to my attractive Spanish teacher throughout high school. It turns out that I legitimately loved the language and the culture. It also didn't hurt that having a skill set in Spanish is becoming increasingly more valuable today. That, doubled with my love for the language, led me to my second major and one that I am extremely glad to be pursuing. It's not always easy, and I am frequently frustrated with my inability to catch on as quickly as I'd like to, but I'm completely happy pursuing my two favorite things in the entire world.

I know my reasons might seem silly, but that's because they are. Sometimes things just fall into place without trying very hard. If it's right, it's right. There's nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do when you go to college. I'd be lying if I didn't have those nights where I wondered what the hell I was doing here. Sometimes it's discouraging to see beauty YouTubers doing the jobs that I want to do without having to go through school like I am, but then I look at it this way: they had to work so hard to where they are today, just like I am. We just took two different routes, and there's nothing wrong with that. I am truly inspired by their hard-work and dedication, and that is something I hope to carry with me throughout my college experience.

You're going to see a lot of things about the most useful or useless majors. People are going to tell you that this major has the highest unemployment rate and wow, look how great this field is doing. While their input is sweet, I don't believe in choosing a major for money or solely based on the job market. Call me silly and naive, but I firmly believe in choosing a major that you love with your whole heart, not just with a greedy heart. 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Francesca! I completely agree with not letting your family/friends have an impact on choosing your college major. I am currently majoring in Global Studies and Spanish, and if I had listened to everyone that told me not to, I definitely wouldn't be where I am today!
    Love your blog!
    Sydney

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    1. Hi Sydney! Your majors sound incredible (I'm probably slightly biased as a Spanish minor though...hehe)! It's always nice to hear people going after what they want and not what others expect of them! Congrats! Best of luck in your majors, love. xx

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