As a first year freshman, the question I get the most is “what are you studying?” When I say fashion, merchandising, the next thing they ask is, “So you’re going to work at target your whole life?
It is pretty annoying to get opinions about your passion that are less than flattering. However, I am passionate about my decision to study fashion and follow one of my favorite things. Most people may not know what they want to, but that is okay! It is more than okay! It should be expected. How can you expect a person to know at 17/18, what they want to do with the rest of their lives? The formative years of college will help you decide what you are interested in. It is okay if you try something for a little while and decide in the end that it was the right choice. Changing your mind is fine and encouraged. You should never settle for what anyone else wants you to do! No matter who it is or what the history is, you should do what you need to do to be happy and follow your heart, even if it may not be able to make up its mind!
Moral of the story, do you. Find something you love, and go for it. Do not let anyone hold you back from doing what you are passionate about. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, model, chef, teacher, etc., try it out and find a career that is going to be satisfying to you intellectually and emotionally, over financially.
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I first set off to college my freshman year. I didn’t declare myself undecided, but I had my sights set high on Biology and doing Pre-Med. I’d grown up wanting to do something like House did (you know, that show with the cynical doctor whose sarcasm was way too inappropriate to probably use in a hospital setting…) However, that dream fell short when my freshman biology class at Truman State knocked me on my butt. Then I moved onto Health Science and Pre-Occupational Therapy. This seemed more ideal at the time. Less schooling, a secure future, good pay, and a variety of people and places to work, but this also fell short having to major in classes that mainly dealt with public and community health and its administration. I could barely keep my eyes open learning such rigorous material in class. Needless to say, I was more interested in the Pre-OT part rather than the health bit.
Then things changed and I had to move schools. I went to community college to figure out some stuff and take some classes that were paid for already having done the A+ Program in high school. I struggled to find my calling. I even took a business class to see if that would be my forte and… it definitely wasn’t. I wanted to do English because I loved reading and writing books, but I figured I could do that in my spare time if need be, especially since I didn’t want to teach it. Then I heard about Speech-Language Pathology. I had no idea what it was, but I knew it was a promising field to go into. I found out that it had to do with linguistic type aspects and essentially also English in a way with words, grammar, and language. The first class I took here in the major was one that compared the various components of language, and I knew from that moment on that it was what I needed to do with my life. Needless to say, I love it. I may not be passionate about it like people are about art or literature or psychology, but it’s a field I enjoy where I know I will be able to help others and their language. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay if you’re undecided, it’s ok if you change your major, it happens. You just have to find what works for you.
I remember the final days of high school pretty well, at least for now since I graduated almost two years ago now. But those last final days were kind of just odd to say the least. There were girls around me who were emotional some days and then so excited the next day. For me really, I would say I was kind of indifferent – primarily because of the fact that I had seen the transition at least three times prior in my own family – I was not that afraid of going on to college classes. I was confident at least with the independence part because I was going to a college right in town, which I commute too still while living at home, and since I also chose the same school which my sister had attended a few years prior, where I knew some of the faculty already and had seen the campus as a kid.
Though once I had really started to have more classes under my belt, and understanding the life of college, it did become kind of intimidating. Though what made it intimidating was when I had gone from first looking at Special Education, to Speech-Language Pathology, to then Undecided… I had no idea what to do with myself. I felt that I was sure of what I wanted to do with my life for a career most of my life though once I made it to college and predicaments came into the picture, I was scared. I felt lost, not sure of what was going to happen with my life. I wondered who would I hang out with in regards to my major and get to know for future possible networking or just becoming familiar with people I would see each day in classes. I felt like I didn’t fit in at times because I was undecided and not firmly planted on the ground with a decision. Though through all of that scary, uncertain, anxiety-filled period of days, I began to really ask questions pertaining to what I was interested in and enjoyed investing my time and talents in. I would talk to previous teachers I had for classes that I felt comfortable with, I volunteered with organizations that I knew I felt welcome and just a part of the community, I evaluated parts of myself that I had not thought about re-evaluating in regards to a career. By spending the time to slow down and just accept where I was with my life, pray about it and let that resonate inside of me, I was slowly able to really find the new major that I have today in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences which would be the one and only Family Policy and Advocacy.
So, what I can say for future Fontbonne Griffins, would be to really see where your interests reside in regards to school if you are unsure of where to look for a major. I can tell you that each of the professors here at Fontbonne, as well as staff members, are here for you and for your betterment as a student. By having a smaller enrollment of students on campus, this leads to more opportunities to get to know your teacher, say hello and get to know them a little more. I can honestly say that they would enjoy getting to know you in return and aide you with anything along the way that you may need. Challenge yourself to talk to someone who you may not talk to that often while at a social event or at the lunch table. Make sure to say hi to people you pass on the sidewalk on your way to class. Most importantly, make sure to recognize your limits and boundaries because I can speak from experience that those are the kinds of things to learn in college, and learn very well. Additionally, accept the limits and boundaries that you have because each person is different and cannot be compared to. But my first two years at Fontbonne University have and shall continue to be some of the best years of my life thus far. I have learned so much about myself that I would never have expected two years ago as a senior in high school. Trust yourself.
At every family event, I get the same questions. Those questions. The ones about college, and majors, and dorm life. Those questions. This Easter, my favorite question was “So what’s your major this week?” And it’s not like I have changed my major at all… Don’t get me wrong, I have questioned if high school math was the exact field I wanted to go into or not, but never if education was. I know I want to be a teacher. No matter what. I just have to make up my mind on the level. With each family member that asked me how college was, about my major, and how freshman year has gone, I began to wonder if I am going in the right direction or not.
Wondering is good. It’s okay to be unsure, so if you are coming to Fontbonne undecided, don’t be afraid. You are not alone, and there are plenty of people to help you find what you want to do! And don’t be afraid of those questions — everyone gets asked them.