In less than six months, I will graduate from college. After four long, stressful years, it will soon be time to put all that I have learned to work. But my journey was not easy, and it was completely different from what I thought it would be.
Three years ago, I stepped onto a college campus with a plan that I thought was perfect. I brought textbooks that I eventually did not use and explored four majors: social work, psychology, sociology, and digital communication and social media.
Social work was the first major that I declared as a freshman. I was struggling during my first semester. I was aware of the workload in social work because the majority of my family was in the social work field and Human Resources. I thought I could handle it. I had one social work lecture a week which was three hours on Wednesdays. The homework consisted of reading many chapters to participate in class discussions, presentations, and exams.
As a first year student, this became my biggest challenge. However, I knew how important it was to complete these tasks, as I was expected to receive good midterm and final grades. Nonetheless, this is a college-level course and I had to come up with a plan to get back on track. I knew social work was my passion the moment my professor introduced case studies to my class, but my disconnect with reading is what held me back.
After realizing that my grades did not meet the requirements for the social work program, I decided to talk to my advisor to explore other options because I was not ready for the social work major.
In the many meetings with my advisor, we talked about my interests and inspirations, which led us to the idea of exploring other classes. As a freshman, it was not too late to walk a different path on my college journey.
I knew that I wanted to stay in a major that could help people, so sociology and psychology seemed to fit those values..
The sociology and psychology classes were online, so I loved that I was able to lay in bed and complete my work asynchronously. I remember enjoying my psychology and sociology classes in high school, and taking them in college brought me the same passion as I opened my laptop every week for class. As I knew I had a passion for helping people, I still felt unsatisfied.
In conjunction with my psychology, sociology and social work courses, I also took a few communication courses as part of my communications minor. Before coming to college, I had my own YouTube Channel where I would film makeup tutorials, skits, and dance videos. I knew little about social media and how to use cameras, but I did not know that there was more to media. After taking an introductory course, I knew this was the field for me but where would helping people fit in?
I eventually learned about digital communication and social media. The major requires classes such as multimedia story creation, consisting of projects about social justice issues, social media courses, and video production courses. I eventually declared this as my major during sophomore year.
This major allows me to produce multimedia content, create my own podcast episodes, report and write stories for journalism, and to be an executive member of a student-run social media agency.
Advice on choosing a major
I’m currently a senior digital communication and social media major hoping to pursue a career in corporate communications where I manage social media accounts or create and direct instructional videos for employees.
The college search website, CollegeRaptor, says when choosing a major, there should be no rush. This decision should be a detailed process because this is the major that may determine the path you take after college. If switching majors becomes the solution, it’s important to stay in contact with your advisors to stay on track for graduation.
My advice is to declare a major by the end of sophomore year. This is the best decision to make during these four semesters, which will consist of trial and error. Based on your experiences, you’ll be able to declare the best major for you. These four semesters will also leave enough time to make up for credits for the new major. The timing for declaring a major may vary at different colleges and universities. If you’re truly undecided, do as much research as possible on major declaration before enrolling in a college or university.
Some students come to college with a plan and some arrive undecided. The good thing about finding which major is best is that there are plenty of options to explore.
My journey started with hardship and doubts, but I’m happy to say it ended with me finding a passion for a major that has prepared me for what I love to do best.