If You're Scared Of Changing Majors, Don't Be

If You're Scared Of Changing Majors, Don't Be

Changing my major changed my life for the better.

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Now, more than ever, there is pressure placed on young people to know exactly what they're doing with their lives. We are expected to go to college directly after high school. We are expected to choose a college or university based upon a major. Therefore, it is assumed that by the age of 18 we know how we want to spend every day of the rest of our lives.

I spent my entire high school career believing I would make a career in health science. I chose to attend Butler University largely because I knew for certain I wanted to work in health care administration and Butler has a Health Care and Business major. But after only a couple of months into my first year of college, I knew something was not right.

I have always been a school-oriented, focused person. I have always had a passion for learning that made working hard worth the fight, worth the exhaustion. Somehow, my first year of college I lost this part of my identity. I find myself hating going to classes, hating school in a way I had never experienced. I would study for hours on end, yet for some reason, I was not absorbing any material.

As the 2016 presidential election came around, I found myself becoming physically ill. I could not sleep well, but I also could not make myself get out of bed. My mind was fuzzy, my soul hurt, and I would spend hours sitting next to the toilet dry heaving.

One day it hit me that this sickness was coming from within. I realized that while I had no motivation to attend chemistry or econ, there was one class I never wanted to miss. There was one class that I enjoyed doing the work for- my first-year seminar called "Women Writing the World." While I was struggling in all the classes for my major, I was passing my FYS with flying colors.

I did some soul searching and realized that I could not be successful in something that I was not passionate about. It wasn't that I didn't care about my major, or didn't think it was important, but I think I was interested in that field for all the wrong reasons. I think I cared more about the title and money than about my happiness. And so I began researching careers that I might be interested and eventually came across a major that better suited me- Peace and Conflict Studies.

I can't lie, changing majors was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made. I felt like a failure. I was scared of telling my parents because I didn't want them to be disappointed. I was terrified to abandon an area of study that I had become so comfortable in. But the fear of spending the rest of my life putting my passions aside was far worse than any of the other fears.

After only a semester of new classes, I felt like an entirely new person. I felt like I had removed a mask that I had been wearing for 18 years. Eventually, I added Political Science as a second major and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies as a minor. Now, my grades are best they have ever been. I once again love school and love my classes more than anything. I've remembered how to be me.

There is a stigma surrounding the liberal arts. Most people believe you cannot find a quality career in fields like mine. But here I am, two years later disproving that misconception. Last summer I was honored with an incredible internship with diversity and inclusion where I was able to apply my passion in the real world.

So here I am telling you, if you are scared, take the leap. Explore other options. Breathe and remember that you have time. Your education is one of the most important decisions you'll make in your life so take the time to get it right.

Sometimes, admitting defeat is the greatest success you will achieve.

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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