How I Picked My Major – Finding My Passion
Like many, I was purely interested in what would be the quickest and most financially rewarding. It took a very long time for me to learn that my concept of what is rewarding wasn’t based on the things that are truly important to me at all. I am hoping that if this essay changes even one person’s mind about walking the path that I did, then it might have all been worth it.
When I was 16, my first job was working as a bus girl at a local restaurant. I never thought about life after high school, though I should have. I can honestly say that at 16, I was making more money than some adults. But, when I graduated high school, I enrolled in college anyway, majoring in small business management. I had accounting, marketing and math classes, but my interest in those subjects was minimal, at best. When I turned 18, I took a promotion as a waitress and dropped out of school after only one semester. There is one thing they say about food service; they call you a “lifer.” Once you get into it, you’ll never leave. Why should I want to? Making a minimum of $2,000 per month seemed like a pretty decent living and more than a college degree would ever get me.
This remained my mindset for quite some time until my personal life and health started to grow and change before my eyes. My patience levels definitely went down, and my stress levels definitely went up. Something about working seven days a week–constantly pretending to be someone else and hiding how you really feel–can really take its toll. Needless to say, I stayed working there until I got engaged and decided that working at that type of establishment was no place for a wife. After three months of job searching to no avail, it’s only fair to assume I ended up back in the industry. And I did.
After being out of school for seven years–and after getting divorced–I finally decided it was time to go back to school. I’m sure you may be wondering what all of this has to do with picking my major, but in fact, it has everything to do with it.
Had I not gone through the trials and hardships of life and become sick of the emotional stress from my job, I never would have returned. With no real plans in mind, I enrolled in an arts general concentration program. I started out with some core classes and enrolled in “Comparative Government” as my social and behavioral science elective. This course literally changed my future.
It had me excited to learn like a child on Christmas morning. I was enthralled in the history and origins of politics, which I had never put much thought into before. So much has happened in such a short amount of time for our country, when you really think about it. I want to know about and be part of this vast amount of information. This, paired with my sociology courses, made me want to also understand the correlation between social influences and political views.
I never realized how important it is to your academic career that you major in something you are passionate about. It put college in a whole new perspective for me. I never imagined the active role I would take from just one class.
Now that I know what I am truly passionate about, I have the drive and the dedication that all college students should have.
The author is a political science major and sociology minor at Owens Community College. She is currently working toward improving college retention for other students by serving as a peer mentor under Title III, a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
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.