So for this post, I’m interested in breaking down the process of choosing a major in college. As someone who’s been struggling with finding the right field, I hope this will help those of you just entering college who still don’t know what you want to do.
To be honest, I should have been more proactive in high school. I didn’t know where I wanted to go to school or what I wanted to major in…until it was time to begin the application process and I was forced to start choosing places. The universities I chose to apply to, I may have well just picked them out of a hat because I had no clue! I ended up applying to three local universities that were close to home and I got into my “top choice.” I had declared English as my major simply because I loved writing and considered myself a fairly experienced writer since I did well in my English classes and was a staff writer/reporter for my school newspaper.
After my first semester of college, I decided to change my major to film. In high school, I loved putting together music videos with my friends and I loved working with cameras and editing. I took my first Film/TV Production class the following fall term and I’ll admit, it was overwhelming at first. But by the end of the class, I had made new friends who were also in that major and I had learned how the different positions of a TV studio work.
After that semester, things got a little dry, and by that I mean, I took the film history classes and the electronic media classes that are more lecture than hands-on. I was beginning to question if I was in the “right” major or not. I began to lose motivation and confidence, but one of my friends told me to stick it out because the film industry is very broad and there are many different options you can go into with that degree.
At the beginning of this school year (now a third-year student), I saw an educational counselor to get an opinion on what I should I do. She basically said that if I wanted to change majors, I needed to do it now because after you pass a certain number of units, you are locked in that major and can’t switch. They want students to get in and get out. That didn’t help, so I ended up staying with my major.
On top of that, I declared a minor. A minor is not required for my major but A) It looks better to have those two degrees and B) It’ll be a good thing to fall back on if film doesn’t work out for me…or I can marry the two and form my own independent company. Who knows?
To this very day, I am still unsure about whether film is the right field for me. But now I am starting to get into field-specific classes like film management, the business of film, audio production, etc. I hope to take a screenwriting class next semester. Hopefully I’ll begin to figure out what it is I want to do.
Now that I am a little older and a little more mature, I am beginning to be a lot more proactive than I was in high school. I’ve even calculated what it’ll take to get me out of school on time (Not that I don’t want to leave just yet because I actually like college). At my university, they make it practically impossible to graduate within 4 years because students can’t get their classes and there are budget cuts left and right. The likelihood of my graduating by next spring is still pretty slim because that’s only IF I can take summer school and get ALL the classes I need for the next two terms. It’s a huge “What If” game.
So if you’re out there and you feel completely lost, whether you’re in high school or college, don’t stress. You WILL find what works best for you. Sometimes you just need to give it time. Don’t rush into things so quickly like I did. Slow down, breathe, and see what your strengths are. What are you PASSIONATE about? What can you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? I know what it feels like to “fall behind” the rest of the pack. It’s hard to watch your friends move ahead of you, who have everything planned out. Just remember to run your own race. I have to keep telling myself that because I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others, especially when it seems like they have it so much easier than me. But I know, everyone has their own battle they’re fighting. So stay in faith, don’t lose hope, and be PROACTIVE.