Dear Frosh: I wish I stressed less about my major
Today's advice for college freshmen is from Jen Howver, owner of VOD Communications in the Chicago suburbs who attended Judson College.
I wish I had known that my major really wasn't all that important.
After all, I wasn't pursuing anything that required special training that would be important for saving a life or diagnosing a mental illness or teaching children to speak another language.
I started out as a journalism major, and even that decision was a grueling one to make. In my senior year of high school, I agonized over what to study when I went to college. I wanted to be a marine biologist and work with dolphins and whales, but I wasn't all that good at science. (What nobody ever told me was that a majority of marine biologists actually study psychology ... not science!) I wanted to be a writer, but a degree in writing felt like it would qualify me to get paid for just about nothing. So I went with journalism as my major -- for a semester.
Long story short, I went on to study adolescent development, spent a couple years working with troubled teens and kids with special needs, and then wandered into a marketing assistant position at a publishing house.
I didn't know much about marketing, but I was organized and eager to learn (and looking for something less mentally and emotionally draining than the work I'd been doing with kids).
Fast-forward to ten years later, and here I am, the owner of my own marketing company. And I have countless friends who studied one thing, only to wander through life and find themselves doing something totally different (which they also completely love doing!). So all the stress and worry about a major, unless you're doing something like medicine, law or education, really isn't worth it in the end.
We all manage to find our way into something we love -- whether we were formally trained for it or not.
September 15, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories: College 101 | Tags: Dear Frosh, Judson
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