PICKING A MAJOR THAT REALLY MATTERS
In my experience there are two trains of thought when it comes to picking a major in college: pick something you can build a good career out of, or follow your passion. I personally chose the latter. I do not expect to make big bucks as a journalist/writer. I’m okay with the prospect of living in a crappy apartment for the first several years after I graduate. I can handle a budgeted lifestyle and I know I will be happy, because I’ll be doing something with my life that means something to me.
I think whether you are in it for the money or because it’s something that genuinely interests you, picking a career that is related to your choice major is important. That’s what you have been working towards for the past four (or more) years, right?
It is so rewarding to see what you have learned in the classroom actually in action in the real world. When my first article was published in the Union, I grabbed at least ten copies and showed it to everyone I know. Working successfully in your field of education proves that you’ve actually learned something and that all your hard work wasn’t for naught.
In one of my journalism classes I am working on piece about a fashion merchandise major who is starting his own limited edition bracelet company. I couldn’t help but get excited for him. He is actually using what he learned in his classes to create something from scratch and he’s still in college. He is going to make something of himself because he pushed, fought, and succeeded in doing something he loves.
My friend’s mom, on the flip side, got a business degree. She wanted to open her own greeting card chain. She ended up as a manager in some office though. She chose the first job she could and stuck with it for the past 30-something years. She said she was scared, and she didn’t want to fail. I once asked her if she had the chance would she do it over? She told me she would in a heartbeat. This really resonated with me; I don’t want to end up regretting my decisions like that. The fear of failure shouldn’t hold you back from doing something you love.
If you chose a major just for the money, then I still urge you to pick something in your field of study. That way you can see what you learned here at CSULB in action. In my journalism class, I was looking at where some of our journalism alumni are today, and so many of them were not in the journalism field. This is not a major you chose for the hell of it. It is one that takes work and dedication to the craft. So I really don’t get why anyone would spend such a large chunk of his or her time and money just to flush it down the toilet.
I get that times are hard and people will get whatever job they can, but I personally think that’s a cop out. Companies need someone to fill your dream job positions. So, why not you? It’s too hard? Bull. You just need to work harder, as if there is no other option. Because there really shouldn’t be any other option than your dream job.
Don’t just choose the first pencilpushing desk job you can find and stick with it until you are middle-aged and unhappy. Be picky. Push yourself to stand out so that you can have your dream job. You chose your major for a reason, so use it to its fullest extent. Get internships, work your way up corporate chains, volunteer, whatever. Use that degree; it has weight in this world.