Third time’s the charm: Discovering a passion is more important than sticking to a major

Julius Millan, Staff Writer

Arriving at Quinnipiac University for the first time in 2019, I planned on becoming a high school history teacher. After switching majors twice before my senior year, I will graduate with a degree in journalism. What a whirlwind ride it’s been.

Taking my first education class at Quinnipiac, I had one goal in mind — that I wanted to teach kids. I aspired to make the world a better place for kids in the classroom. I remember writing a letter to my high school history teacher thanking her for inspiring me to become a teacher. I joined the Quinnipiac Future Teachers Organization. I wrote letters to a student in sixth grade. I was looking forward to meeting my young pen pal at the end of the school year.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened.

I was taking my second education class, diversity and multiculturalism, when everything shut down and moved to Zoom. While I enjoyed the class, I had this tingling feeling that maybe teaching would not be the right job for me. I saw how Zoom was already being utilized in classrooms throughout the country and I wondered if this would be the new normal for students.

As a student, I know how hard it is to pay attention to a class when you are in your own room with no classmates and the ability to turn off your camera. Then I asked myself this question:

“If I can’t keep my attention toward a Zoom for more than half an hour, what else can I do?”

That’s how I switched majors the first time when I became a history and political science double major.

My plan when I switched majors was to not switch anymore after that, because I would be put at a disadvantage to graduate on time. My education courses would be used as electives, but I had to take political science courses to counterbalance that.

If I switched twice, I would be forced to only take required courses my senior year, while my friends could take “easy” courses that would be fun for them. I wanted to enjoy my senior year, too.

Over 80% of students change their majors at least once during their time in university according to a study by BestColleges. I was determined to keep it at one because I wanted to be a historian. I enjoyed writing and I figured I could combine that with two passions of mine in history and political science.

I was wrong.

Heading into my junior year, I was burnt out, but I knew I wanted to do something involving writing.

In the summer before going off to college I ran a short-term Instagram account tailored to coverage of the New York Jets. I enjoyed running it and the account gained traction before I deleted it. I never expected myself to consider journalism again.

Switching majors more than once is not always a bad thing. College is about discovering yourself and finding who you are as a person. Whether or not that journey entails switching majors once or twice to find a passion should not matter. The important part is that you find something that you love doing, even if it takes until your junior year as it did for me.

When I switched to being a journalism major, I was hesitant. I wasn’t entirely sure if I would enjoy covering stories for a living. To figure out if I really wanted to do this, I went to a debate between the Quinnipiac Democrats and Republicans. I took notes on the debate, wrote down quotes that felt memorable, and interviewed the president of the Quinnipiac Republicans. I planned on just going back to my room and writing a story as practice.

As fate would decide, former digital news editor for The Chronicle, Chatwan Mongkol, approached me and asked if I was doing the story. I told him I planned on doing it for practice, but he said I could do it for The Chronicle.

Two weeks later, The Chronicle published that story. I enjoyed every second of the process. Writing, editing and fact-checking the quotes to make sure everything was accurate, I enjoyed it all. Since then I’ve written multiple articles for the newspaper, dabbling in multiple sections but really finding my groove covering lacrosse toward the end of last semester.

Coming into my senior year, I am set on my goal to be a sports journalist. I love writing and I love sports. I plan on sticking with this and seeing where my passion takes me.

If switching majors twice has taught me anything, it’s that it does not matter when you find something you love doing. If you find that thing, take it and run with it. Your passion will take you where you want to go.