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Your Major? Your Passion

The best way to decide what to major in is to first know what you like to do and what is going to make you happy.

Alison Graham

October 03, 2013

Your Major? Your Passion
Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions of your college career and that’s why students start sweating profusely when it’s even brought up. But, this is a safe space everyone, OK? We’re going to talk about it calmly and get through this, together. Personally, I have known what I wanted to major in since third grade. WAIT! Don’t click away just yet! This will be helpful, I promise.

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I am majoring in Journalism because that’s what I've always wanted to do and I got into it early enough to be sure it’s what I wanted. However, at Indiana University, the journalism degree requires that students choose a second concentration, meaning that you basically have to choose another area besides journalism to get a certificate in. That’s almost like choosing another major! Not to mention, I am actually going to double major on top of that.

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So how did I/do I choose Journalism, a second concentration and another major? Well friends, here was my process: When I was about ten years old, I started my own newspaper and sent it out to all of my extended family (and I pretty much became a family-wide sensation, definitely the favorite grandchild, niece, etc. Seriously, I still get comments about it almost nine years later).

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After that, I joined every newspaper staff and wrote for everything that came my way just because I loved it so much. So sometimes, you just realize your passions early. The best way to decide what to major in is to first know what you like to do and what is going to make you happy. Do not choose something just because you think it will mean a job or a lot of money. That will not make you happy. If you aren't really sure what you are interested in, look at your college’s (or prospective college’s) list of majors and minors and start clicking on things that look interesting. This is how I found out what I wanted my second major to be: informatics. What the heck is informatics? Yeah trust me, I didn't know either. I read about it on my school’s website and thought it sounded really cool. It’s all about computers and programming, which is pretty much the exact opposite of journalism. But, I thought it would make me more marketable for potential employers to have computer skills. My plan is to use informatics to enhance my journalism degree and expand myself across multimedia platforms. So I’m not giving up my true passion for writing and news, but I am getting another major to enhance my passion and make me more marketable to employers. I know a job is important to graduates and so is moving out of your parents’ basement. You generally need a job for those things. So, look for other majors, minors, or certificates to enhance what you are truly interested in. This lets you keep your dreams and it’s not such a huge decision because you don’t have to choose just one thing to do for the rest of your life. Sometimes, you really aren't sure which thing will be interesting to you. Take a few introductory classes in a lot of different areas. That will give you a taste of what you like and help narrow down your options. Next semester, I’m taking “Informatics 101” to test the waters and I might absolutely hate it and drop out a week in, but I also might absolutely love it. I’ll never know until I try. And lastly, know that your major is not the end all of your life. You don’t have to work in a field that pertains to your major and a lot of people don’t. Just because you majored in history doesn't mean you can never write for a magazine and just because you didn't major in business doesn't mean you’ll never work for one. Calm down about your major and just start exploring. Trust me, it will just hit you one day.

How did you decide on your major?

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