When I came into college as a freshman, I was a biology major with dreams of becoming a vet tech and crushing my science classes. So, why am I writing to you now if I’m a bio major with tons of homework and labs to finish? Well, college is all about finding yourself. I found out my first semester that I do not have a STEM brain even though my hope was to become a medical professional. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay to not be good at what you thought you wanted. When you realize that maybe you aren’t on the path you thought you were, it’s scary. You don’t want to be in that place of limbo, but it is so important to take the time in college to find out who you are and what you really want to do for the rest of your life. Did I really want to spend the next four years studying formulas and math that didn’t make sense to me? Or would I rather follow my passions and create art for a living? I knew that I was born a right-brained person, and I had to do what made me happy for the rest of my life. So, I changed my major.
I thought that following the pre-med math is what I wanted even though I wasn’t very good at math or science, which is the foundation for biology… especially when Florida State University makes you add a physics or chemistry minor on top of your bio major. I only had five classes my first semester: chemistry one for majors, chemistry one lab for majors, college algebra, intro to anthropology and women in literature. Chemistry was challenging to me. I barely made it out of that class with a passing grade. I only had an okay grade in chem lab because the questions were not math problems but writing questions. I wrote my way out of analytical problems that didn’t even make sense to me… and I got A’s on those questions when people who were way more passionate about the subject got lower grades. I knew I had writing talent, especially when I enjoyed reading Memoirs of a Geisha more than figuring out how many protons are in an element.
Writing was only one of my passions. I’ve always been a total theatre kid, and I’ve never had more passion for something in my life. I loved theatre even more than writing, and I knew that I wanted to continue my love of stagecraft in college. There was one problem… I was so scared of making it my major. I’ve been working it on stage since middle school—why would I give this up now? The problem was the judgment. Distant family has asked me, “What kind of job are you going to get with your majors?” At the time, I had no idea what to tell them. What do you say to that when you don’t have the answer yourself? Now that I’m about to graduate, I tell those who doubt my career that I will be working at the coolest place in the world soon because I will be doing what I love every day. I don’t have an exact location yet because here we are in a global pandemic, but I have no doubt that I will get a job soon, and it’s going to be somewhere awesome because I will be living my dream.
Life story over. Here’s what I’m trying to say: you go into college thinking that you know yourself and you don’t. You go into college thinking you know what you want to do for the rest of your life, and maybe you do! Maybe you have it all figured out, and that’s great! For those who are on the fence about following your passions and settling for less than, this is for you. Go for your dreams. You will make it work. You will be so much happier. You will thank yourself endlessly for making the decision you did and decided that you are worth more than just settling. If you’re thinking about changing your major, DO IT. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back or try something new. There will be no loss, even if you take a class that will mean nothing in the end. You will have learned something about yourself, and that’s the most important thing. You’ll be grateful in the future.