Many students may be unaware of what the exploratory program is or how it helps so many students. Exploratory helps incoming students starting their first year at Florida State in selecting a major. The exploratory program assists students whether they are unsure of their interests, torn between two majors, or have several majors in mind. Students can avoid obstacles and significant decision-making issues later in their academic careers by starting with Exploratory. By the end of their first year, students usually feel much more confident in their decision in choosing a major.
As a first-generation student coming into FSU, I was unprepared for the number of career paths and majors that were out there. I came up with the idea that the medical route was the only option for me, despite my lack of passion for it. I was under the impression that not many careers were out there, especially not careers with great financial gains. I ignored all the things I loved to do, like reading and writing, regardless of how much I excelled in those fields. Fortunately for me, my advisor noticed that the medical route wasn’t for me, and I would be much happier getting a major I loved. She quickly advised me to be an exploratory student and take an exploratory course that would help me with making such a big decision.
This SLS course which also counts as an Engage-100 course was the match to my fuse that fueled the passions and goals I have for my future. This course focused on not only finding your major but essentially finding yourself. I was able to learn who I am as a person, the things I enjoy, my strengths and weaknesses, and how they correlated in a job environment. I learned that your personality is a huge factor in what careers best suit you. For example, a more introverted person is likely going to shy away from careers that require public speaking or interacting in huge crowds. Because of this, it is best to align yourself with careers so that you ultimately feel your best self when working. The more I looked at what I value and the things I enjoyed doing, the more the answer became clear.
Having the opportunity to reflect and not be quick to follow what the majority of people usually pursue career-wise led me to a major that not only I excel in but love.
Being an exploratory student also helped me feel less alone. Once I realized how common it is to not have everything figured out or how so many others like me struggle in making such big decisions, I felt more confident in my choice. I can say I was able to eliminate any doubts about my career path and major choice that could have come up in the future because I solved those doubts early on. I would encourage first-year students to take an exploratory course and get to know the plethora of paths out there and even students who are well into their major but may have doubts about it. It is an amazing opportunity to get to know yourself and what you would love to do in the future.