Take a look outside your major

Extracurriculars provide experiences beyond one’s comfort zone

A.J. Newth, Staff Writer

What are your interests?

The question is simple to many. Most people respond with music or spending time with friends. Others may answer by naming their favorite television shows or sports teams. Once you get to college, the answer shifts.

I believe a lot of students choose their extracurriculars based on their choice of major, despite their personal interests. Business students may gravitate more towards business societies, investment clubs or entrepreneurship organizations, while journalism students may participate in the school newspaper or literary magazines.

College is a high-intensity environment, and the choices that students make when it comes to involvement are essential in what they choose to do after school. But students should choose their organizations based on their interests, not their major.

It’s important to have diversity in a resume, and some of the best types of organizations to be involved in include student government, debate, academic clubs, foreign language clubs, residence hall associations and community service clubs, according to The College Post.

There are currently 151 clubs and organizations to choose from at Quinnipiac, according to DoYouQU. Students can find a sense of community like joining Greek life, American Sign Language club, political organizations, car club and even fishing club.

When I was a first-year student, I felt like I needed to get involved in ways that would coincide with my career goals to look professional on my resume. I found the International Business Society in September 2021, which fit right in with my major. I also showed an interest in investment clubs and entrepreneurship clubs. While those organizations are wonderful, I always felt like I was missing something.

When I joined the Chronicle a few months ago, I was nervous. Not nervous about the process of writing or editing, but more so about how the organization would look on my resume when applying for jobs. I was concerned that employers would see my business major and business society involvement, and then see the school newspaper as a red flag that did not fit my “strictly business persona.”

After writing my first article, that thought was gone. It no longer mattered to me what interviewers would think of a business student who loved writing opinion pieces because I had found an organization that I loved, from the writing aspect to all the people involved.

Having a resume that follows one trend is boring. Employers look for diversity more than anything and being able to demonstrate a variety of experiences shows interviewers that an individual can adapt to different situations and be successful, according to Ellevate Network, a career development network for women.

In some cases, the clubs and organizations from college can even lead to post-graduation jobs, regardless of a major. Being involved in different organizations can not only create opportunities for networking but also may unexpectedly lead to a lifelong career, according to The U.S. News & World Report.

In hindsight, your choice of major does not really matter. I am currently a business student, but I could graduate with my bachelor’s degree and decide on a completely different career path.

College creates an environment where it seems like all students will eventually find work that relates to their major. However, a 2022 Resume Builder survey shows only 47% of college graduates end up working in their field of study.

I regret thinking that I had to be a journalism major in order to get involved in the Chronicle and realizing that my major does not define me has created countless opportunities. I have found myself branching out to new groups of people outside of the business programs and making meaningful connections.

The degrees that students get from universities serve as prerequisites for the workforce, and although choosing a topic that you would like to pursue in your career is helpful, at the end of the day it’s not that important. Employers value skills, experience and passion more than whether or not the job aligns with a field of study, according to Forbes.

The concept that college is a journey of self discovery becomes repetitive, but it never ceases to be true. I encourage everyone to step outside of the comfort zone provided by their major.

Engage in conversations with individuals with opposing views, study in a new building and join an organization that you think would look out of place on your resume. I find that deviating from extracurriculars that correspond to your field of study can not only be refreshing but can also create a new sense of purpose.

And if you’re lucky, you might just find your passion and your people.