Julia Wachuta '19 shares how she chose the major that best fits her strengths, skill set and career aspirations.
In my freshman year at Mount Mary, I didn’t know what major I wanted to pursue. There were just too many options for me. I liked too many things. I’m a writer and an artist. I valued the versatility of business. In high school, I really liked my psychology and physics classes. How was I supposed to decide which one of those things I wanted to turn into a career?
Thankfully, Mount Mary acknowledges that some students feel this way, because I was told to sign up for a career explorations class that was going to help me figure all of that out.
In that class, people were at all different stages in their career exploration. One woman was considering being a teacher. A handful of students had no idea at all. I had narrowed my options down to writing, business and communications, as I saw how nicely those things fit together. But which one was going to be my major?
Throughout the class, we participated in a variety of activities to figure out what kind of career would benefit us. To do this, we first figured out what kind of people we were. We took personality tests, determined our values and wrote out goals for ourselves. One of the most valuable activities required us to interview somebody in the field that we were considering, and write a reflection paper about the interview and what we now thought about the career. I interviewed my cousin who had majored in a similar area to the one I was considering and was (at the time) working at a job in Washington D.C.
As I was writing the paper, I smiled as I thought, “I bet she never thought she’d be working there.” As quickly as I thought this, another idea occurred to me. “It’s okay not to know exactly where you’ll end up as long as you can get a job in something that matters to you.”
Not everybody shared my “aha!” moment, but everybody at least had a better idea of what they wanted to do when they left this class.
It wasn’t the class alone that helped me figure out whether my major should be writing, business or communications. Another big help was my career counselor.
I walked into the student success center one day, determined to figure out which of the three options I would declare. I was thinking that communications sounded like a good option. My career counselor stopped me.
“Communications is not what you think it is,” she said. “If you want to write, you should declare writing for new media as your major.”
I considered it for a moment. “What if I don’t want to write for the news, though? I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t want to teach writing, either.”
She pulled up a document on her computer that listed a whole bunch of majors and different things you could do with them. There were things on that list that I had never even thought about. I remembered my little saying, “it’s okay not to know where you want to go,” and I decided to declare my major. English writing for new media it was. I kept business as my minor.
It wasn’t one factor that decided my major. It was everything. It was me, it was my conversations with friends, family and Mount Mary professors, it was the class and my meeting with the career counselor. It was the information I was provided. It was my feelings about certain courses when I took my core classes and got a little taste of everything. It was the experience as a whole that pushed me right where I needed to be.
It is because of all of this and because of everyone involved that I’m finally starting to believe that my future might just turn out alright.
It wasn’t one factor that decided my major. It was everything. It was my Mount Mary experience as a whole that pushed me right where I needed to be.