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Experiences

The (Not) So Funny Thing About College Majors

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Since school is back in session something that may be coming up quite frequently is that of your major and what you want to do with your life; not just in college but in the real, adult world. Now as a Senior, that adult world is approaching oh so fast. I keep thinking back on the past three years of my college experience wondering if I would do any of it differently. What advice would I give myself with the information I know now? So, I am going to tell you about my college journey and the advice I want to give to whoever needs it. 

My college journey first started when I was eighteen. I thought I had it all figured out, and knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to be an anthropologist, to study myths and legends for the rest of my life with not a care in the world about how I would get a job doing so. I saw the tv show Bones, looked up what exactly anthropology was, and said, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Who cares about the money? I’ll be happy and that’s what matters the most!” Funny how that doesn’t last too long once you get a taste of the real world. I got to college and had an identity crisis about the whole thing. Did I really want to study that for the rest of my life, or was that just a fantastical dream I’d created for myself? Should I do what I want or should I do what will make me money? So, sometime during my first semester freshman year, I decided that I wanted to make money and switched my major to public health while doing pre-med. 

As I did my chemistry and biology classes for medical school prerequisites, I realized that I really did like chemistry (surprisingly) and for the most part I understood it. I found it exciting and challenging;  it made me feel like I was actually learning and most importantly, retaining the information that was being taught to me. That also could be because I had a really good professor who I made sure to take twice. With my new found love of chemistry, I made it my minor. Then, another surprise jumped out at me the summer before my junior year. I realized as time went on that I didn’t want to be a medical doctor, but that I had just liked the thought of it. I’ll never forget my decision to stop being premed, the feeling I got when I told my advisor, and when she said, “Let’s do it.” I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders; a freedom from the walls that seem to be closing in with each passing second. That relief had told me that I had done the right thing. I decided to keep my major as public health, but drop my chemistry minor along with being premed, instead changing my minor to anthropology (sometimes though I think that I should have just declared a double major). 

Now, here I am as a senior in what is essentially my last semester of undergrad (as long as things go as planned). I’m actually looking at jobs, internships, and graduate schools trying to figure out my future and wondering who I want to be. If you had asked me a couple months ago, I would have said that I wanted to go to grad school for global public health, and do humanitarian work. As graduation and real adult life gets closer, I have changed my mind yet again. I want to go to grad school for medical anthropology and do research for the rest of my life. Well at least I think I want to do research, that part is still a little fuzzy. My point is that as we get new information and learn more about ourselves, our minds change and so does our outlook on life.

Sometimes I wonder, “If I could go back and change anything, would I?” For right now the answer is probably no, because now I know that I didn’t want to be a doctor; something I never would have known if I didn’t originally go for it. However, there are things that I wish I would have done differently, like go to the career center earlier, volunteer at more places, get an internship earlier on, do more research under professors, etc. All these things could have helped me better understand not only what I wanted to do with my life, but also myself. The advice and message that I want you to take away from this is that it’s really okay to not know what you want to do with your life. If you think that you do know, that’s great, but just be ready for a sudden change of heart. Life has a way of making you second guess things. So if you want to change your major, change it, and if you want to stay with it, stay. If you are struggling with finding what you want to do with your life, that’s okay, so is everyone else. You are going to hit bumps along the way, sometimes a whole roadblock, but you’ll get through and learn from it. Take advantage of the opportunities and resources provided to you and around you because you never know what you might learn about yourself along the way. 

Meg Hanff

App State '23

I am a senior Public Health major with a minor Anthropology from the eastern part of North Carolina. I love music, books (my family might think I love this one too much), sports, and learning about new things.
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