Five years ago, when I was barely starting college, I did not think I would ever get to where I am now. The major I chose, the lifestyle I had/have, and all the hard work I put into it. It was not something I would have thought possible. In 2011, I was barely getting to college with my mom's help (she was driving me every day) -- hardly knowing what the heck I was even doing there, and had no clue what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was carrying the dead weight I had from high school; relationships, lack of confidence, and worries.
For this first year of college, I was merely focused on finding the close friends that followed me to my college. I was also trying to keep my head low, and not even worry about making any new friends. I was too busy trying to not look like a lost puppy on campus every time I had to go to a new class.
At the time, I was a double science major (Biology & Chemistry) and minoring in Forensic Science. I was very far from what I am now. I was trying to become a Forensic Scientist, and while I still do love that field, math is not for me. If you know me, you know math is not for me. However, I did not realize at the time, but science is about 99.99999% math. Who would have known? I was in remedial math at the time, so I knew math was not my strong suit. I quickly changed majors to Criminology.
I do not know why I ever did that, either. I dislike the major Criminology. I never really knew what I wanted to do with that. It never provided me with anything new and exciting. Nothing that I could take away and be excited about learning. So, thankfully, I have never taken any classes for any of these majors or I would have been so behind schedule.
Later, I got into Mass Communications and Journalism. Okay, now, we are getting closer to what I actually wanted to do. While I liked the MCJ field, I just felt like the half-assed writing aspect was not for me. I wanted something that was more and challenged me more. I wanted to be in something that was entirely focused on written form; fiction, poetry, and the telling of stories. That is what I wanted. Journalism is like that, but it is a different kind of storytelling for me.
The writing for MCJ does not focus on grammar and Shakespeare or reading and fiction. I am not saying MCJ is not a good major, but for what I was looking for -- it was not for me. It is the major for some, but I did not want to do journalism or newspaper writing (and, secret, I have done plenty of journalism with the major I have now). I wanted more focus on writing and getting further in that. Making sure I knew what a comma was, where a semicolon went, and how not to have a sentence fragment.
Soooooo, I changed to English Literature, and no, I am not becoming a teacher. Just plain ol' English Literature major -- a background in Fiction and Poetry and that is about it. English challenges me to be better with my writing and with English I assumed "Hey, I can get any writing job even without the MCJ background." And, boy, was I right. I have gotten freelance journalism options, newspaper options, and so on.
Luckily, I realized early on I did not need the MCJ major to actually write for journalism. Most places look for either an MCJ or English background. I guess I just wanted more Shakespeare (which is entirely accurate). Sorry, MCJ major, I still love you (most of my friends are MCJ majors). However, it was not for me and thankfully so because I am so happy with where I landed.
Why am I telling you this? Well, when I first started college -- as you know -- I did not know what the heck I was doing. Still don't, to be honest. I found something I wanted to do and went with it. Everyone told me, "English? What are you going to do with that?" I always felt bad for myself because I felt like "Okay, well, what am I going to do with this."
I learned early on to do what I wanted to do, and I did. I have written for comics, culture, PR, social media, and so much more with just this one major. I am proud I chose English. I do not think there is anything I would rather be doing than telling people their grammar is terrible. (I am kidding, I only do it to my mom.)
I guess what I am trying to say is that -- college has helped me pick what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. I am forever grateful and forever happy about that. If anyone ever asks me, "should they go to college," I will say yes.
It is the best experience of your life, and if you feel lost in life, it is a good way to get you back on track. I think college is something everyone should try, at least once. It teaches you so much more than just "extra" knowledge.
With graduation in about four days, I wanted to reminisce about 2011 when I first started college as a deer in the headlights. It is now 2017, and I am graduating -- still a deer in the headlights, but with a BA. I cannot wait to walk across that stage and sigh in relief to know all that hard work and 93$ for a parking pass every semester paid off.
Thank you, Fresno State, you have made me a college graduate.