Junior Advice: Making the best of a ‘major’ decision

Everyone says college is the time to figure out what you want to do with your life and find yourself. But what if you find what you’re passionate about halfway through the experience? To take on a different major at that point seems a bit unrealistic, unless you’re willing to spend more than four years at college. However, there are ways of coming to terms with the choices that are made when freshman year begins and here are some helpful ways to overcome this.
At 18, students are expected to make a decision that could ultimately affect the rest of their lives. With the variety of classes and electives available, it is easy to find something to be passionate about and want to study further. It’s a lot of pressure at the time to make a decision. There are so many students who start college with one decision and then end up questioning whether or not they made the right call.
I grew up always planning to study education and become a high school English teacher. My sophomore year of college though, I found a passion for journalism after becoming a writer on the yearbook staff. I took it up as a minor along with my English and education majors. With scheduling around the education classes, however, I have found it very difficult to actually be able to complete the minor. That was something that has caused a lot of questioning for me — what if I had found journalism first, would I have chosen that over education?
It’s not picking the major that is the hard part. Instead, it’s more what you do after you start to get doubts. At the midway point of college, it’s too late to look at the what-ifs. I enjoy teaching and I enjoy writing, and there are still ways to make an impact on my résumé in regards to writing and journalism. It’s just finding the right clubs and activities to get involved in. In my situation, I kept my job with the yearbook, writing articles on plays and other events on campus, and I got involved in The Rider News.
This situation isn’t just a choice between education and journalism — it’s a doubt most students, at one time or another, have probably experienced. We grow as students, we grow as people, and we learn what makes us happy.
The major selected when students enroll was chosen for a reason. We know what we love to learn about and with the span of different organizations that Rider offers, there is an opportunity to branch out in all different types of disciplines. In this, students are given a chance to learn a range of subjects and be passionate about whatever they want to be.
I have questioned my major a million times over since finding journalism, but if I really look at it, I see I have options. There are always options.  With a few extracurricular activities, a résumé will still look great to a future employer and this way, you’re able to get the most out of the your education. Now, when I graduate and teach, I can bring an extra passion into what I am trying to get across. I can incorporate what I love about journalism into my lessons and maybe even write on the side with local papers.
College is about seeking out what you love. Even if you find more than one passion, you don’t have to major and minor in both. It’s about making the most of the opportunities and, from there, the rest will follow.
-Tara DeLorenzo
Junior secondary education major

Printed in the 11/13/13 edition.

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