My whole life, I've always known what I've wanted to be: a teacher. I came into college as an English major with an interest in high school education. I wasn't too sure if I was going to stick with it, but since I had been good at English throughout high school, I decided to try it. After almost a year of being an English (and now officially accepted into the English Ed) major, I can honestly say that I love my life.
I am turning into the epitome of English major, and I am NOT mad about it. I thrive on coffee and good books, I read for fun, and I edit other peoples' papers with joy. I type papers with Jane the Virgin-esque gusto, and I feel utter glee when I complete a critical essay I am proud of. A fun Saturday would honestly be me in a hammock on the quad reading a book all day long.
That being said, I know a lot of people come into college undecided. Many others also come into college with a major they're not passionate about, and stick with it because of the money they'll make in the future. Here are X reasons why loving your major is more important than making lots of money.
Doing homework doesn't feel like a chore
All throughout high school, homework was extremely difficult, because I was doing homework every night for 7 different classes, over half of which I didn't even enjoy being in. Now that I'm in college, I don't have nearly as taxing of a load. The work itself is of a higher caliber, but I am in more classes that I truly enjoy, so doing the homework for those classes isn't as horrible. Deadlines and projects still weigh me down, just as they have before, but now, when I finally sit down and focus on my work, I am actually interested in what I am doing. As a result, my homework, papers, and projects also turn out to be higher quality, since I am not bored out of my skull when doing them.
Thinking about your future causes joy, not extreme anxiety
When I imagine teaching about literature, I feel a glow in my heart. I think about how my classroom will look, how I will engage with my students, what books I will teach, and what my life will be like in general. No lie, I even have an Instagram folder of saved photos of outfits I want to wear when I am a teacher. I am truly ecstatic about my future, and I know that the pay isn't great, but I also know that I will be happy and doing a job that I love. Granted, all jobs have their ups and downs, but as long as the passion is still there, you know you are on the right track.
So, find what you're passionate about, and stick with it. When there are passion and love in your life, other things will work themselves out. Don't spend the rest of your college education (and tuition) doing something you truly dislike, just for the financial gain in the end. We only get one life, and our quality of life truly matters. So give yourself a good future by testing the waters, finding what you love, and running with it.
You feel more engaged when you're actually in class
Currently, I am in a class titled Survey of American Literature. We read literature from the early 1600s all the way to the present. Are the texts we read sometimes drier than the Sahara desert? yes. Are the assignments sometimes overwhelming? Also yes. However, every Monday and Wednesday, I still get excited to go to that class and discuss what I read. Truthfully, it's the highlight of my week, because I am able to translate old literature into present learning experiences and connect my life to lives that left us long ago. Being in class, I am not bored, or doodling, or disengaged. I am present, and I am actually learning. Finding a major that you're passionate about will turn gloomy, dreary days into engaging, intellectual adventures, trust me.
You bond with the faculty more
Since I am in a major I love, I don't mind doing extra things within the major. I meet with advisors, join extracurricular clubs within the department, and volunteer in the department when needed. All this extra work, with me making my face known within the department, truly helps open up opportunities for me. Last semester, I was offered the opportunity to present some research on Honors within the English major — as a first-semester freshman!! By bonding with the faculty more as a result of my involvement within the community, I have opened up many doors for myself in regards to leadership and activism, and I can't wait to meet more faculty as I go along.
Literally, you will be doing this for the rest of your life
The fact of the matter is, this is your future. What you choose in college does matter, because it impacts the job opportunities which you are able to take on in the real world. Choosing a major immediately is not necessary, by any means. In fact, I encourage incoming college freshmen to test the waters a bit. Take classes you wouldn't normally take, complete those general education courses, and find what you truly feel passionate about. When you're in the right major, time truly flies. I cannot believe that 1/4th of my college career is almost over, but I am glad that I found what I love, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for me within this major.
So to my fellow students: allow yourself to be open to the idea of change. Don't get stuck in a mindset that college is just training for your future job and the degree will help you earn more. College is about much more than that and can be an amazing experience with the right major. Earning less but being happy is much more important than earning tons and hating your job. Find your passion, and stick with it! The rest will all fall in place.