As a first year student at the University of Georgia, I know a thing or two about confusion and frustration when it comes to choosing a major. Upon entry to the university, I had my heart dead set on majoring in education. I knew at a young age that I wanted to be a teacher. I was the child that had a consistent career aspiration and stuck to it throughout my K-12 years.
For years, I had imagined the layout of my future classroom, the structure I'd like to base my teaching around, the activities I'd like for my students to do, and even how I'd like to decorate my door for Christmas and Valentine's Day. I was a die hard teacher wannabe.
Then, I went to college. During my first semester I took the introductory course for education. It started off great, but when we started getting into the material, my hopes and aspirations came to a sudden halt. I started to feel like I didn't belong, and like a didn't agree with what my teacher was teaching me.
I'm not writing this to bash on the professor that changed my mind, so I'll skip the conflicts I had with her curriculum. I'm writing this to let fellow confused college students know that it is completely OK to have an unexpected change of plans.
I had to pull my head of the clouds and take a good long look at the image I had created of future me sitting in my classroom. Was this really what I wanted to be doing? Was this really where my life was meant to go? Was there another career waiting for me to open my eyes and realize I was in the wrong place?
After long talks with my mom and hours spent exploring the UGA Majors List online, I came to a conclusion. I am writer. I love writing, and it's always been my form of outlet, as well as my favorite hobby that I've never really given any sort of analytical thought to. Anytime I need to solve internal issues or escape the realities of my world, I write about other peoples' worlds. I escape through words, whether it's a made up story or a way to piece together the emotions tumbling around in my mind.
I eventually stumbled upon journalism: people who write for a living. Just the idea of the possible switch sped up my heart and opened my mind to a new image of myself that I felt really suited me. I set up a meeting with the head adviser at Grady, and was thrilled. After speaking to someone in the industry, my mind was completely made up. Everything started to make more sense. Everything was clearer, and my goals started to aline with my passion.
Departing with education, was almost like breaking up with someone. It had been there for so long, it was comfortable, and it was all I'd ever wanted. I came to the realization that being a teacher was my childhood dream that I dragged with me throughout my life without really thinking about what it would mean for the outcome of my life. I never thought about the hours upon hours I'd be spending with kids. I never thought about the repetitiveness of the curriculum I'd be teaching. For many people that is exactly what they want, but I had realized that I needed something else. I need words, I needed to be pushed. I want to spend my life analyzing how writing affects people, and providing people with content that starts a fire in their minds. I do want to devote my life to people, but the people are no longer going to be my students, but my readers.
After accepting that things were going to change, everything started getting brighter, and I drove full force into my new major. I'm writing these articles for UGA's Odyssey, I'm writing for a UGA magazine, and I'm planning to so much for my new future as a journalist. As nervous as I am, I'm so excited to learn and achieve.
I have definitely had second thoughts. Education was what I thought was my destiny. So many people, including my family, had told me that I'd be a great teacher and that it suited me. But I had to follow my heart, I had to take the risk of not knowing what it's like to be a teacher in hopes of finding out what it's like to pursue my dream job. UGA will do that to you. It takes what you're set on and comfortable with, laughs at it, and then opens you up to what you're really meant to do.
The point of college is to find your calling, meet your people, and learn your stuff. You are very fortunate if you stick to your original plan. Major changes are much more common that you think. You have to come to terms with the reality that after college, you will be working. You are given the opportunity in college to explore everything you've always wondered about and make the most out of what will become of the rest of your life.