When students first start college, they are asked to choose a specific major to focus on. Although the first year of college is completing general education requirements, deciding on a major is the ongoing nagging issue. How are students supposed to choose what they want to do for the rest of their lives, at the age of 18? Our brains aren’t even fully developed until the age of 20, making this kind of decision is kind of irrelevant. This is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life – hope it’s the right one!
In my experience here at West Chester, I struggled with my choice of major also. I didn’t want to go to college for four years, and have it all wasted on a degree that is insignificant to me. I wanted it to be worth all the money and future loans I will be paying off in years to come. This decision, being so important, is difficult for not only me, but other indecisive students as well. I entered college with the major of social work, planning to switch to psychology down the road. Talking to people, helping them through their issues, and finding their strengths was something I was positive about pursuing.
Starting to get deeper into the psychology major sophomore year, I wasn’t as confident. I noticed my peers getting more excited as they went further into their coursework and looked forward to their future. I didn’t feel the same way; something wasn’t right. One of the smartest decisions I’ve made was taking time to breathe and open my mind to the variety of majors offered. I suggest all enrolled students do this. Being miserable in your career path of choice is something you will regret for the rest of your life. Some people go back to school after many years of frustration in the wrong job field. Why not skip that step and get it right the first time around?
By taking a variety of classes, I had a lot of options and interests towards different majors including sociology, communication disorders, and philosophy. I wanted a degree that I knew would give me success and money. My mind was just about everywhere until my mom asked me the question that changed my entire college career. We were having a conversation about what I wanted to do, and how at this rate, I am going to be in college forever. A question struck my mother’s mind, “Courtney, if money didn’t matter, what would you choose?” I immediately knew my answer. It was Photojournalism. Writing for a newspaper or column, sharing my angle on certain topics while capturing it through my lense would be the dream. She then responded to my answer, “why not do it then?” So I made the decision to switch to professional studies with a minor in studio art and journalism. It wasn’t my original plan, but I am happy to say that this was the right choice.
Keeping an open mind and not jumping right into a major has saved me from making huge mistake – the mistake of sticking with a major that I’m not in love with and having a disappointing future.
Courtney Potts is a fifth-year student mjoring in professional studies work with minors in studio art and journalism. She can be reached at CP763356@wcupa.edu.