How I Went From Being a STEM Kid to an Aspiring Journalist

When you go to a K-12 technology school, it can seem like the only logical path to take is majoring in a math, science or an engineering field. However, I guess you could call me a rebel because I’m a proud journalism student, and I know it was the right choice for me.

From the time I was old enough to read, I was on a computer. Obviously, when you attend a school of technology, programming is introduced into your curriculum as early as possible.

Before I hit double digits, I used Prezi for book reports. By the time I got to middle school, projects turned from tri-folds to MovieMaker or other digital platform use.

Among the programming classes, robotics classes, graphic and web design classes it was all fun, but as I got older, unlike my friends, I wasn’t in an elective that I felt like I wanted as a career.

In order to find my major, I did what any normal teen would do. I took an endless amount of career quizzes. As you probably assumed, I hated all of the results and felt like none of them suited me. Rather than being discouraged, I decided to take these different results and find a common denominator. Most of the results I got were advertising, design, teaching and occasionally business. Here’s the conclusion I made from those paths: I like have individual projects, using my creative side and, I guess, informing or helping to educate.

My next step in my great college, major journey was figuring out what that actually meant. One thing that was always at the back of my head was the saying, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” So, what do I love to do? That question kept plaguing my thoughts because my extracurriculars in dance class or volunteering weren’t going to lead me to a quality job any time soon. The only answer I had was being a pop-culture junkie; I constantly watched E! News and Wendy Williams. I followed all the news about celebrities and movies. It seemed like translating a love of pop culture and entertainment wasn’t plausible, but after many days, Google searches and tabs later, I came to a decision.

Journalism is a field with the goal to inform the masses on issues people want to know or you feel people should know. It was a perfect fit for me because it allowed me to do my favorite things: keep up with what’s happening in the entertainment world and tell people all about it.

Although I was relieved I came to this decision, it was met with some pushback from a lot of people in my life. When it came time to write our majors in our senior slideshow, a lot of teachers and students didn’t understand how I could even put journalism down. We had no school newspaper or magazine. We barely had a yearbook. My mom was on the fence. She wanted to major in telecommunications in college but went the medical route for financial and job stability. Everyone else’s doubt definitely made me question my own thoughts.

Journalism as a career option didn’t become real to me until the day I submitted my UF application. Even after that day, I planned to double major in marketing because I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing and wanted a Plan B. However, I knew I was on the right path when I could’ve officially applied for marketing, and I didn’t do it. The thought of actually going through with my second option scared me more than the prospects of journalism because I wouldn’t be doing something that made me happy.

Overall, I would tell everyone not to stress the decision too much because you can always change your major later. If you’re really looking to find the right major for you, do what makes you happy. I know that answer can seem worn out and dry, but it’s true. The moment you start putting your major into practice, you’ll realize once it gets difficult whether the challenge excites you or pushes you farther away. The excitement of the challenge means you’re definitely in the right place because you want to be the best.

Are you having difficulty picking a major? Do you feel like your high school experience has pressured you to major in one direction?


This article is part of a series welcoming incoming students to UF. Have a question you want us to answer or explore? Email us at [email protected], and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for even more incoming student advice!