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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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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7 Financial Myths To Ignore Before You Graduate

We get a lot of unsolicited advice growing up and following them blindly comes at a cost.

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I was trolling Facebook as usual while thinking up more useless way to procrastinate when I fell on a post saying your 25-30s is a time spent cleaning up the financial mess of your early 20s. That got me thinking of all the rampant unsolicited financial advice I got from people before going to college. And how in hindsight, none of that make sense. It's no wonder half of college graduates leave with massive debt and no clue on how to manage their finances. Here are seven financial myths that you should toss long before the grad cap.

CREDIT/DEBT IS BAD

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Hate to tell you this but, you probably got this advice from a person with a bad relationship with credit. Only bad debt is bad, but good debt is good, thanks for listening to my ted talk! But hear me out, by good debt I mean a credit card balance which is paid off every month or a car note on automatic payment, being paid on time every month. Starting to make sense? Building good credit history settling debts on time is a super unsexy yet easy path to riches.

CREDIT CARDS ARE FOR EMERGENCIES

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Absolutely not! That's what your emergency fund is for. That's how people develop a bad relationship with credit. It's not for when your car breaks down out of nowhere. It's for the Mondale stuff you regularly budget for. I'm talking gas, movies, and two for ones on taco Tuesdays or whatever. It's for the simple everyday purchases that will help you rack up points.

CASH IS KING

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Maybe back in the early 2000s but now buying online can be much more efficient then spending cash. Why? Because oftentimes before making a purchase you can compare price in different sites and look for discount codes before committing. Also there are a number of budgeting and money tracking apps to flag you down and add up those late night amazon session for you. More like Netflix and Buy Now, I see you.

EXTENDED WARRANTIES ARE WASTEFUL

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Yeah sure, and that $500 Xbox is totally going to make it through those ABC Greek parties unscathed. Listen I worked for a major retailer and used to get those calls from dumbfounded customers who couldn't believe they were SOL when their brand new flat screen pooped out a week after taking it home. Also, those extended warranties usually take effect after the manufacturers' expires, so the total coverage can be upwards of 4 years. Image that $600 blender or yours dies three years into your smoothie relationship only to resurrected for free, or for a fraction of its price because you shelled out an extra 20 bucks at purchase.

SAVE NOW INVEST LATER

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Let's be honest, at 20 what are you really saving for? Probably not a house, maybe your wedding… cuz it's cuffing season? I'm definitely not knocking saving money, it's a good idea and worth it but now you're not really thinking about the big stuff that becomes relevant down the line. Although you're not in your cushy corporate job yet with the sweet 401K match. You'll still be better off starting a Roth IRA and stashing away what you can. Even if it's $20-$50 a month.

USE LOANS TO SUPPLEMENT FIN AID

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No, just no. Use loans as a last resort, there are other ways to pay for college. Get a summer job, look for grants, and scholarships. There are scholarships for every race, color and creed. There are scholarships for every major and there are scholarships for your random AF hobbies. They just don't come delivered in your inbox asking you to sign and collect the money in a few weeks time. You have to find them.

PAY OFF YOUR BILLS FIRST

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Here's the thing, skipping two car notes is the fastest way to get back on your feet. I'm not advocating anyone skip paying their bills for the sale of saving money or blowing it in an unnecessary want. However the reality is the older you get the more bills you accumulate. Get in the habit of paying yourself first. Pay yourself by regularly funding your saving/emergency fund. Pay yourself by investing in your mind and well-being. Invest in a guitar lesson, wellness retreat or counseling. Fund your IRA or other investment accounts. Don't let your paycheck exist just to pay your bills and make it through the month. It's your money and you worked hard for it. Now go buy that bag, no the one the clearance rack…

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