How A Quick Decision Led Me To My Passion

How A Quick Decision Led Me To My Passion

A simple click led me to my future.

Picture it the first semester of junior year. As a student, I was hopeful for a season of change from the previous semester that kicked my butt. The beginning of the week I had the mindset that this year was going to be my year, I didn’t realize how true it was. By the end of that week, I would think the complete opposite.

You see, I was taking macroeconomics for the second time. Okay, attempting macroeconomics for the second time because I dropped the first time to avoid a failing grade. Let’s be real a W is better than an F. Macroeconomics is still the bane of my existence as I ended up dropping it within the first two weeks right in alignment with the add/drop period for classes.

Of course, I had scheduled my fall to be just the right amount of credits to give myself some space to breathe and figure out my life plan. However, when I dropped macro I had to replace it and that’s when it hit me: sociology.

Sociology has always been and will always be a fond subject for me, truly one of my favorites. From the time I took a class in high school to now being a junior in college. Anyways, once I had dropped macro, I scrambled to find a sociology class available.

That is when I found Social Gerontology.

The description was brief but explained the subject to be about studying the aging process.

Sounds interesting. Click. And then I was in the class, I showed up a few classes behind but got it together as if I hadn’t missed a beat next thing I knew everything started making sense. The content was interesting, the readings were full of new information, and all I wanted was to learn more about aging, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and everything in between.

And then there were volunteer hours.

For volunteer, I was required to go to one of the many locations that Respite Care Charleston has to offer and volunteer for two hours. I met incredible people we socialized, we sang, we painted, and we ate lunch together.

So for about three months, six hours a month, I slowly began piecing together what I wanted to do with my life. I want to work with Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. I want the world to understand Alzheimer’s and Dementia not fear it.

We spend so much of our time investing in kids because they are our future. I am not disputing this by any means. Kids are awesome! They aren’t the only parts of the future we should concern ourselves with.

Our old people are being treated like old people, not like elders. I realized that yes, I love working with kids especially the group I choreograph in the summer and all my dance babies I taught back in the day, BUT I love and want to work with the elderly more.

Now I am taking another class on aging and continue volunteering with my current aging class. I am so blessed that with one simple click of a button I was able to find my passion. I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences this was fate.

Cover Image Credit: Becca Steele

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Professors change students' outlook on learning

Which professor you get DOES matter.

The professor makes the class.

This statement could not be more true, in my opinion. Students can take courses on the most riveting topics, but not learn or understand due to a bad professor. Luckily, most of the professors I have encountered have been engaging and have opened my mind to learning new things.

I am currently studying journalism, which is a subject I already love. However, my professor Dr. B is so incredibly passionate about the field. Every class she shares stories and anecdotes about her time as a journalist for a major Canadian newspaper, and her enthusiasm is contagious. As a student journalist, it is exciting to hear stories from someone who has had vast experience in the field. Her excitement inspires me to be just as passionate about my future career.

I am also studying political science, and I am enrolled in the African Politics course. Prior to the class, I had no knowledge of African Politics. I took the course because I wanted to learn a new subject, and I knew that Dr. Ziemke would have endless experiences to share. Because I had previously taken her for International Relations, I knew that she had worked in Africa as a volunteer on the Peace Corps, and she had a deep connection to Africa. Her passion, humor, and stories are what make a three-hour long class bearable.

Passionate professors create passionate students who are prepared and excited to improve their fields of study. These professors shape and mold students, give students encouragement and support, challenge students, and help students reach their potential. Professors have so much power to influence the future through their students.

It is important to understand how much a professor can truly affect how invested students are in a topic. When students have subpar professors, they tune out and do what they need to do in order to pass. When presented with a passionate, engaging professor, students take a deeper interest in the material. They put forth more effort because they understand the value of the topic being studied and want to tackle any issues in that field.

I truly believe that professors have the power to make or break a class.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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I Changed My Major, And So Can You

​One of the hardest parts of college is choosing what you want to get out of college.

One of the hardest parts of college is choosing what you want to get out of college. There’s a lot to think about when you choose where you want to go. Do you want a big or small school, in or out of state, weather, the full college experience, etc.

A decision that is left to be made once you’ve already committed to a school is what you’re going to do after graduation. Your major often reflects this decision. Some know exactly what they want to do and others take a little more time to figure it out.

(AKA me)

I did running start in high school and graduated with my associate’s. Then I came to WSU to pursue a degree in public relations. I was sure working in PR for a non-profit was what I wanted to do but turns out, it’s not.

I am now pursuing a double major in Speech and Hearing Sciences and I plan to be a speech therapist after school. My plans changed quite a bit in the two years I was at WSU.

For anyone else who’s still thinking about what you want your major to be or maybe changing your major, here’s some advice from my experience with trying to figure out my life all at once.

1. Cut yourself some slack

It’s okay to change your mind or not know what you want to do yet. Don’t let people fool you, most of us don’t have it all figured out.

2. Talk to people in the careers you’re interested in

Going out and talking to people in the field you’re interested in is more helpful than talking to an advisor or your professor. When I was thinking about speech therapy, the advisors at WSU didn't know much about it and I learned more from talking to real speech therapists.

3. Take the baby steps

It’s overwhelming if you need to change your major or you start thinking too far into the future. It’s important to slow down and think about what needs to be done now and worrying about the rest when it’s time. When I decided to double major I started thinking about how I would need to apply for more loans, get an apartment, take the GRE but the only thing I needed to do at the time was email my advisor. I could figure out the rest later.

4. What’s important to you?

I’ve always wanted to work with kids and have a job that helps people. It’s also important for me to have a job that is flexible for when I have a family. After talking to family friends and looking into speech therapy, it sounded like the perfect career to me. I could work in the school district and have the same breaks as my future kids.

5. Will you be able to find a job?

Most people go to college to get a job. This is something to consider when choosing a major because some career fields are more competitive than others. If I'm going to pay for graduate school, I want to be able to find a job right away. Speech pathology is a growing field and I shouldn't have a problem finding a job.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap

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