This is something I’ve been giving a ton of thought for a few months. I don’t know if there was one precise moment that convinced me I needed to change my major, but it was definitely a process and a lot of personal soul searching. Anybody who knows me or has kept up with my blogs would know that I love to write. I keep an active blog, I write stories and poetry, I actually don’t mind essays much, and so on. From what I’ve been told from dozens of sources, it’s something I’m good at too. I would love to have a career writing for a TV show, publishing novels, or writing screenplays. That’s my passion, and that’s why I originally entered college majoring in creative writing. But if I love what I’m majoring in, why am I changing it?
As my funds depleted this semester and I got a small job, I began to realize how badly I needed a real job and money to survive. I realized that what I was learning didn’t have as much practicality and being a creative writing major was not going to help me impress hiring managers. Sure, I can write well, but I need job experience. First time jobs don’t typically involve very skill oriented tasks; it’s all about service. The janitors, the waiters, the cashiers, all of them are pretty low skill jobs, but creative writing wasn’t helping me even with that. If you think back to my post about my garbage date, described in “The Best Mistake,” I mention people watching. If I can think of one moment that really woke me up to needing to change my major, it was that one. I realized that I am a restless spirit and I need to be in a career path where I can meet and get to know lots of people.
From there, I began thinking about possible job opportunities that I could do. I considered being a flight attendant because I love flying and airports and airplanes, plus I’d get to meet a lot of people and travel all over the country. While that’s still something I might like to try, I also wanted to go to school; I’m pretty sure there isn’t a school of flight attendance. So I thought some more about classes I enjoyed and what I might be interested in, which brought me to AP Psychology from high school. I love talking to people about their problems and helping, plus I think understanding the human mind is a really amazing thing. I then got it into my mind that I might want to be a counselor.
After toying with this thought and deciding if I really wanted to change my major, even talking about it a little bit with my parents and my friends, I decided I needed to change, but I still had no idea what I wanted to do. I have the kind of mind where I can’t start something before knowing it’s what I want to do. I hate being wasteful, so I spend a lot of my time trying to optimize everything. I take classes that count doubly towards my degree, and I definitely didn’t want to change my major to something, start down the path, only to realize I didn’t actually want to do it. I couldn’t change my major without knowing about every possible option out there, so I sought out help from a career counselor.
What he told me was to go home and take a few tests. I took the tests, one of which was on 16personalities.com, and the other was a more official test. I discovered that on the Meyers-Briggs scale, I am categorized as an INFJ. I read the entire profile from introduction to friendships, relationships, and career paths and so on. It told me exactly what I already thought: counselor and writer. Both of those were included among other things, which just reinforced what I’d been thinking about. Then when I got the results back from my other test during my second meeting with the career counselor, my top result was counselor (3rd was writing). We talked about it and he gave me a lot of information, including a bunch of sheets about what kind of counselor I wanted to be. There are so many different kinds that I could pursue, and that’s assuming I even wanted to go with counseling. So I looked at all my options and asked a friend of mine, and I decided I wanted to be a Marriage and Family Therapist. I researched what I had to do to get there, which means I have to pursue a degree in family studies and go on to graduate school to get a masters in family studies, maybe even go further to get a doctorate. So that’s what I changed to: I’m now majoring in family studies.
Also related to this subject is my declaring a minor. Earlier this year I made a lot of posts about my communication class, which is answer enough. After this semester, I’ve decided that I liked communication and I think it’s a pretty good pairing with family studies, so I declared a minor in communication.
These decisions have been extremely stressful for me because it forced me to put myself under a microscope and examine things I was good at and determine a future for myself. It was me giving up on a dream of mine to pursue a more realistic passion, but it’s been really tough having to say goodbye to my English degree to pursue something completely new to me. I tell myself I can still write even without a degree in creative writing, which is true, but now that I’m on the path toward graduate school, it’s not going to be a focus of mine. I guess I just want to end on the thought that change is a good thing and it’s important to weigh every option before deciding what you want to do with your life. It’s okay to pursue your passions, and it’s okay to change your mind. Better now than later in life, right?