Some people go into college knowing exactly what they want to do. They dreamt about doing it for their whole lives. Maybe they saw their parents doing the same job or maybe they saw it on TV. Either way, they know and they are proud of it. But for some of us, it is not so easy. I am one of those people and surprisingly going into college undecided was one of the best decisions of my life.
I always thought that once I got to high school I would know what it was I wanted to do and that I would completely know my career path by the time I was a Junior or Senior in High School. That was not the case. Freshman year I wanted to be a trauma surgeon, (greatly influenced by Dr. April Kepner on Grey’s anatomy ofc). Sophomore year I was convinced I was going to FIT and majoring in fashion design, even though I had never successfully taken an art class. By Junior year, I actually had a decent idea. I decided I wanted to enter the world of communications and media, but after some self doubt and taking a look at the statistics, I decided I needed to choose something a little more practical and attainable even though I secretly always wanted to work in the world of media. So here I was Senior year applying EA to colleges under the major of…Speech language Pathology and Audiology. I had it all planned out, I would get my Undergraduate degree and then move to Boston where I would go to Graduate school working as a speech therapist assistant and eventually become a travel speech therapist specializing in adult rehabilitation.I know, very specific. This was a decision that may have been influenced by my family, or by my own self doubt, but it was not the decision for me. That is probably why when I got my acceptance letter from St. John’s saying I was accepted into their undecided program instead, I was not devastated. Something told me, deep down, that it was the right decision for me and I put my deposit down that night to attend.
When I got to St. John’s, I was immediately flung into classes regarding my intended major. My advisor wanted to make sure I was on the right path if I indeed did want to be a Speech major. I took Intro to Phonetics and Intro to Linguistics. While I absolutely fell in love with Linguistics and it helped me greatly in my English abilities, I hated Phonetics. This is nothing against those who enjoy it or are pursuing careers in it, but it was not for me. Considering phonetics was one of the main components of being a speech therapist, I had a lot to think about. I remember being on the phone with my Aunt and she simply said “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Now go get it”. That is when I decided exactly what I wanted to do and that I did not care what other people think. I decided to pursue my degree of English under the influence of my amazing First year writing professor and a successful meeting with the Dean of English. I also added one of the minors I really wanted as well: communication arts. Since I signed those papers in the Dean’s office to officially declare my major and minor I have not been happier since.
So here is my message to undecided majors: IT IS OK. You do not have to know what you want to do right now. You are still young and you have so much time to figure it out. You can even figure it out after college! During my time of being undecided, I discovered so much about myself. I discovered my strengths, my weaknesses, and my dreams. I am not saying you should drop a major or decide on a career based on a class, but I am saying trust your gut. Do what you want to do and take your time figuring it out. It is honestly one of the best adventures you will take.