Why I Changed My Major

Just a few weeks ago, I was a journalism major.

Last year I entered college fresh out of the high school yearbook program, thinking I was so sure that journalism was my path, that it was my calling. I covered events and wrote articles in AP Style, which I hated, but I pushed through because it’s a writing career, and writing has always been one of my true passions.

I initially wanted to be a novelist, but I thought about that for a while and realized that it might not be productive to pursue without a backup. Like any kind of art, I admire people who pursue it, but I also realize it is a very difficult way to make a living, and only very few make it big. I thought journalism was a productive way to pursue my writing in a structured job. I knew it would also give me the opportunity to meet and interview interesting people, as well as the opportunity to travel the world. I aspired to enter as a reporter, and then work my way up to a managing editor. It seemed like the perfect plan.

However, besides the fact that I was not a fan of AP Style (Oxford commas for the win), journalism had a major shortcoming for me. As a journalist, or a print journalist at least, one has to remain objective and simply report the facts without any stance. As someone who is passionate about feminism and human rights, I came to the realization I just couldn’t do that.

I have been interested in activism since high school, and just recently joined He for She at BU, a student organization advocating for gender equality. Emma Watson is my role model, and I decided my new aspiration is to work for UN Women.

Photo from https://www.wikigender.org

I want to make sure that all women, girls, and nonbinary people have access to education, to jobs, and that the wage gap is closed. I want to work toward ending violence against women, and ending violence in general. I want to empower women and encourage other women to empower each other. I want to make a difference in this world, and I simply can’t remain objective in my stance any longer.

Photo from http://www.mylearning.org

I changed my major to Communication Studies, as this opens a lot of doors for me. For now, I’ll aspire to work toward UN Women, but I know that through this major I could also go into a political field, or go back to journalism if that’s what I really wanted (although at this point I doubt it).

With this change of direction, I will really have to go out of my comfort zone. I am very shy, and giving speeches is not a strength of mine at all –– but if I want to go into activism and be a UN member someday, I really have to work on it. Through classes and practice, I am confident I can get there, but I know how uncomfortable I will be. I mess up; I get embarrassed; I freeze. I sometimes wish I would have stuck with acting. I don’t generally speak up in front of people; I have grown accustomed to raising my voice through writing. I know I can still write, but I also have to speak. This will be difficult, I know, but if it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it to me.

Photo from http://www.pulse.lk

As I have focused on writing for practically as long as I can remember, I have a lot of new skills to acquire and a shell to break out of. Although part of me would love to stay in my comfort zone, I am too passionate about equality and activism to sit back on my new dream.

 

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