How I Picked My Major – Journal Your Path
Unlike many high school students who look at colleges based on the party scene or football team, I looked at colleges based on specific services they provided. As a student with many disabilities, I needed a college that would allow me to access support services for my vision, my hearing and my mobility challenges.
As a child, my dream was to become an architect. As I entered my sophomore year of high school, I looked to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for its renowned access to support services, as well as its well-known engineering programs. I was interested in architecture. However, I soon realized that the architecture classes became increasingly difficult due to my cerebral palsy. I was not able to manipulate the tools needed to draw, nor could I tell if the measurements displayed on the computer screen would work in real life.
I realized that my dream of attending RIT would soon be out of the cards. Worried, I tried to search for colleges that, exclusively, could give me the support services I needed. Then, I decided that my career choice should be based on my two greatest loves: history and writing. Searching for colleges with these areas of study was easy. However, my criteria of support services really narrowed down the list.
By junior year, I heard something that was nothing short of a miracle. RIT was going to create a journalism major, pending New York State Government approval. I was astounded and couldn’t wait to know more about it. Reading the RIT Communications Department website, it seemed like RIT was preparing students for journalism in the 21st century, having students learn about blogging and other forms of electronic journalism. My aspirations of attending RIT were reinvigorated.
I decided that if RIT was unable to get the journalism major approved, I would apply to Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., to major in history. However, that spring, the good news came, and RIT suddenly had a journalism program. I felt happy and excited that I could consider RIT my first choice college for admission. I speedily sent in my application, and I anxiously awaited the day that I could call myself a member of the RIT community.
Every day, I would constantly peer into the mailbox. One day, I received an email from an admissions counselor, who explained that I would be getting my acceptance letter any day. I was overjoyed and started to call everyone I knew. Soon, my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends all knew that I had gotten accepted to the college of my dreams.
When I first entered the college campus in August 2010, I knew in my heart and soul that RIT was the college for me. I had made the right choice. I have developed new friendships and was determined to do well in each one of my classes, not wanting to leave this college.
I know that my educational success will continue here at RIT. However, it will take determination, courage and strength to achieve my goal and dream of being a journalist.
Rochester, New York
The author is a freshman journalism major and history enthusiast at Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently, he writes for Rochester’s weekly magazine, Reporter Online. He hopes to one day work for a magazine that combines his love of history with his love of writing.
This article is part of the BetterGrads special series “How I Picked My Major.” Contributors are asked to reveal their journey and decision-making process toward their area of focus in college. If you’d like to submit an article for this series, please read our editorial guidelines and let us know here. Read other posts in this series here.