It’s not a secret: picking a college major, or even a minor, is a point of much contention for a frighteningly large number of students. Essentially, you are being asked to declare your life’s path before you are twenty years old, and for those of us who are not envisioning a life in the STEM or Business fields, criticism from fellow students, extended family members who just don’t get it, and sometimes even oneself is inevitable. It has become the norm to be told to pick something “practical.” Something with a good “return value” because loans aren’t going to pay for themselves. You’re told to pick something with decent job security that will be useful.
Throw that idea away. Dispose of the notion that you have to pick a major or career path because it’s the “less risky” option.
Dispose of the notion that pursuing a degree in a field you are passionate about that isn’t conventionally considered “up-and-coming” is dangerous, and should be frowned upon.
Because the break-through that changes the world isn’t going to come if you’re a writer who goes into the medical field because you feel that you’re going to make more money in that industry. Yes, it is important to be realistic and acknowledge that if you are going into a field that is difficult to get your foot in the door with, a backup plan is necessary. However, dropping what you love for a major that’s supposed to provide you with job security and make a load of money is unfulfilling. Not only that, but you are robbing the world of your unique talent. You can contribute to society as a dancer, artist, writer, photographer, just as much as you could if you were an engineer, medical practitioner, or mathematician. It’s all about balance. Just as the world needs the mathematician, the world needs the photographer.
The best advice I’ve received thus far as a Journalism major (a field that has been plagued with its own share of issues as of late yet one that I am proud to be going into) has been from my parents. They told me to always follow your passion because if you do, you will always find a way to make your skillset useful. This sentiment was echoed by one of my professors this semester, and something that I frequently think of.
You’ll never strike out if you are pursuing the career of your dream. You’ll strike gold. So declare a major in an obscure industry. If it’s something you are passionate about, there’s no possible way you won’t become successful.