Since childhood my parents have stressed the importance of an education. My parents did not go to college so it was even more important that I went. They constantly reminded me that only with a good education would I have a good life.
While I was applying to colleges everyone, including my friends, relatives and teachers, kept telling me that I had to declare a major. My major would lay the foundation for my future career. That whole concept intimidated me because I had no idea what I wanted to pursue. Therefore, instead of worrying about getting into college, I worried that I would fail at life. Without a major, I would not get a good job. Without a good job, I would not make any money and without any money, I would not be able to live the good life my parents always talked about. However, I had a real interest in psychology so I decided to declare that as my major and see how that would work out.
Now that I look back, I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I knew that people change their majors. I wish I knew that people do not always find jobs related to their majors. I wish I knew that people change their jobs. I wish I knew that it’s okay to not know what I want to do with my life. I wish I knew that college is all about experimentation.
As a psychology major, I found many of my courses fascinating but it wasn’t until recently that I realized it’s not right for me. I do not want to make a living diagnosing patients based on abnormal behaviors and prescribing drugs or putting them in institutions. I wanted to change my major but I didn’t know what to until I came across sociology. I took a social problems class in which I learned about the ways people interact with one another in society. I learned about poverty and crime and public policy, things that were applicable and practical in real life. I loved the class so much that I declared sociology as my new major.
I still don’t know what I want to do but I know that my major doesn’t hold all the weight. The extra-curricular activities I am involved with have helped me develop certain strengths and refine my career goals. In particular, my position as Opinion Editor of The Chronicle has introduced me to a field I hadn’t considered before. The work I do is enjoyable and the hands-on experience is invaluable.
Now that I am thinking about graduate programs, I still don’t know what I want to do. I am leaning towards journalism but I do not want to give up sociology. I have found that the need to declare a major really inhibits my growth as a student. Why should I have to limit my interests only to the classes that allow me to graduate on time? There are so many paths I want to explore but can’t without wasting precious time and money. So although I have settled for sociology as my major, I am still going to keep my options open and see what opportunities come my way. Maybe I’ll be able to find a career that allows me to blend both fields together.