Thursday, March 2, 2017

Why I Chose My Major, Part II

Hello, beautiful! I hope you're ready for the second installment of the Why I Chose My Major series.

In case you missed it, for the past two weeks I've been sharing why some of my most inspiring blogger friends chose their college majors! (If you missed Part I of Why I Chose My Major, click here to check it out.)

This week, I have seven more bloggers back to share the stories of how they discovered their true passions in college. These girls each have their own unique career path and aspirations, and have truly opened my eyes to the multitude of options available to each of us!

From early childhood education to veterinary medicine, this post proves that each of us has our own distinct calling in life. If there's anything I hope you take away from this series, it's that you can truly major in (and find success in!) whatever you want, if you only put your mind to it.

Anyways, I can't wait to share these seven inspiring stories with you, so I won't keep either of us waiting any longer! Here are seven ways my favorite bloggers chose their college majors.

Jess of Roses in Ink

Major: Veterinary Medicine

College: The Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh 

"I’m pretty sure that every to-be vet says that they’ve always known they wanted to be a vet because they loved animals so much as a child. I’m no different. Growing up, the animals that we had were part of the family just as much as a human child would have been. I loved them with all of my heart, and I lost many of them to disease. I knew there were people out there that could’ve saved them, and I wanted to be one of them. I wanted to make sure that no animal felt the pain of death and that no owner felt the pain of loss again. Knowing what I know about life and the science now, I know that’s an impossible goal, but the feelings behind it are still ones that keep me going to this day. As I became older and learned more about people and life in general, I began to see animals as more than a biological miracle. To me, they were one of the last pure and unconditional forms of love left in the world. They don’t quibble over petty arguments and they don’t succumb to temptation or insecurity. They’re simple, and in their simplicity comes their beauty. That, now, is what I’m trying to preserve as much as their physical form. That’s why I want to be a veterinarian."

Shelly of Shelly Ray

Major: Strategic Communication

College: Texas Christian University

"I went through a lot of different ideas about which major I would choose during my time in high school, some of which were acting, psychology and journalism. One day my class was asked to take a quiz to learn which career we were best suited for. My result was Public Relations, and after doing some research into what exactly that meant, I decided it seemed like a great fit for me. I’ve always loved writing and communicating with people, which were some of the qualities listed as important in that field.

When I got to TCU I learned the Public Relations major was called Strategic Communication there, and it encompassed Advertising as well. During my time at TCU I took classes which taught me the basics of both industries, as well as a bit of marketing and journalism. I also had a summer internship every single summer of college, where I gained real-world experience and ended up shifting a bit into the digital and social media realm of things. I graduated in 2015 and I’m currently working at a small social media marketing agency, where we help different companies and brands manage their social media accounts, from running ads to creating all of the posts, to compiling reports to measure results. Though it’s a little different than traditional advertising and public relations, many elements are the same and I feel my major gave me the right set of skills and knowledge to be successful in my career."

Rachel of the Pearl Cartel

Major: Early Childhood Education

College: University of Memphis

"I began studying Early Childhood Education at University of Memphis (my hometown!)in 2008.  I knew immediately out of high school that I wanted to be a teacher.  I had several years of experience in working as a martial arts instructor and I really enjoyed the teaching aspect of it.  I also saw working in public education as a way to help serve others in my community, and I was as passionate as they come.  I went ahead and studied a minor in Sociology and a minor in Spanish along with my degree, and I took the opportunity my sophomore year to study abroad in Valpara√≠so, Chile to finish my Spanish minor.  I fell in love with Chile and started to see that the world had a lot of opportunities for me outside of Memphis if I was willing to chase them. I returned to Memphis to finish my final 2 years, and upon graduating in August of 2012, I moved to Chile! 

Today I live in Santiago, Chile and I'm a freelance English teacher (I studied a short TEFL certificate upon my arrival here).  I am so so grateful for my degree in education-- it has taught me not only how to teach but also how to empathize with others, communicate more effectively, and solve problems quickly and creatively.  Of course, it helps me a tremendous amount in my job, but I don't teach kids!  I teach adults that are looking to learn English in order to get promotions at work, live abroad, or simply pursue another passion where the language is an important tool.  It's not what I had imagined for myself when I started my degree in 2008, but I'm so happy with what I'm doing.  As a freshman in university, if you had told me that I would be living in South America, teaching adults as a freelancer, and studying a Master's in Linguistics, I would have laughed you out of the room.  But this is the path that my education and career has taken me on, and I love it! I spent a year or two thinking maybe it had been a mistake to get my degree in education, but now that I'm studying linguistics, I realize how essential it has been to my career development.  Education was the broad beginning of my path.  Linguistics is the fine-tuned continuation of that path!  

My biggest advice to any doubtful students is this:  If you went into your major because it's a passion of yours, and you still feel that passion, don't worry if it's not going to be profitable.  Get the degree in something you love.  The universe will steer you towards the next few steps and opportunities after that."

Dalindcy of

Major: Journalism

College: Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam

''Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to write for a living. It's what I did best and what I was good at. Naturally, I chose a journalism major. It seemed to be the best choice because I would be able to further practice my writing abilities while learning other valuable skills as well! I grew up in The Netherlands and went to a college named Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam. It's an art college that only started offering journalism courses a few years ago, but I barely noticed that during my time there. I loved going to an art college, the vibe at my school was very laid-back and accepting of people from all backgrounds and ethnic groups. We did a lot of creative projects with other students and I've come to appreciate lots of different art forms!

After graduating in 2016, I decided to pursue a freelance career. I've done multiple internships at magazines and production companies when I was still in college, and while I enjoyed this the freelance path definitely called for me. The flexibility of it really fits me. Now, I do much more than just writing news articles or interviews. I'm a social media manager, copywriter and editor. I travel a lot, so the fact that I can work remotely is an amazing benefit for me.

Looking back, I'm really glad I chose a journalism major. I learned a lot of valuable skills in college - and I'm still learning to this day! I might not freelance forever, and that's absolutely fine. Who knows what the future will bring?''

Derra of the Party Chix

Major: Hospitality (major) and Meetings and Events (minor)

College: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

"In May, I graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), but my journey to that point wasn’t as easy as it may have been for others. It took me seven years, several major changes, and a lot of stress but I eventually finished. After I graduated high school, I sat around for a year contemplating what I wanted to do.  My days would start with being awakened by my annoying grandma who would barge into my room at 7 a.m. every day because “real ladies shouldn’t sleep late.” She’d try to drag me out of bed but I’d usually ignore her and instead waste a few hours laying in bed checking gossip sites and facebook in a never ending cycle until my best friend Sydney would call.  We’d link up and zip around Hollywood in my busted blue ‘97 chevy cavalier spending money we didn’t have like a broke version of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian. After a year of doing this, I decided to enroll in community college while I figured out what I was passionate about. I felt the courses would be a waste of time but surprisingly I did pretty well and applied to a few universities.

I was admitted to Cal State Los Angeles and Fullerton, but when it came time to choose my major there was nothing that I was really interested in. I ended up dreading the thought of spending the next two years of my life study psychology or sociology. At this point, I started actively seeking out places where I could get an events degree. At first, I didn’t think this type of degree existed which is why I had never looked before. Then it happened I found UNLV, which has a degree in Hospitality with a minor in meetings and events. I applied and the rest is history. I had the best time of my life in school studying something that I truly loved and lead me to where I am now. I currently have my own company: The Party Chix where my sister and I plan events."

Sima of Sangria Lips 

Major: Psychology and Professional Writing (double-major)

College: University of New Mexico

"I walked into the University of New Mexico sure of my path. I thought I wanted to be a journalist from the age of 10, then quickly I realized it wasn’t for me. Partly because I began to struggle in classes, but mostly because my editor at the university’s paper told me I was a bad writer, and that was frustrating. Amidst my new feelings of doubtfulness, I got the news that my cousin, Samantha lost her battle with anorexia.  In a hasty decision, I decided to change my major to Psychology hoping that I could help people like Samantha.  I prayed that despite tragedy I could find my calling. Then I realized that wasn’t for me, when I was denied from volunteering at a suicide hotline. That was embarrassing.  Finally, I discovered Professional Writing in a brochure in my advisor’s office. My first Professional Writing class was Global Communications and the professor let me volunteer at a writing symposium. He and his graduate students took time to read my writing, tell me career options and encouraged me to pursue a master’s in the field that was illuminating.   

In May 2014, I graduated with a double major in Psychology and Professional Writing. At 26, I’m in transition from being an English Language Assistant in Madrid, Spain into pursuing a career in Professional Writing in Los Angeles, California.  College was difficult.  Despite hardships, I discovered a lot about myself: the stress I could withstand, the skills I have and a life I never expected.  I still have no idea where I’ll end up but I’m far closer to understanding my place in the world than when I was a freshman."

Jess of Short and Sweet

Major: Communications Studies

College: Biola University

"Hi, my name is Jess Short from! Like many people, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up and didn't know what to study in college. So when I enrolled at Biola University in 2011 undeclared, I took a leap of faith. Many people would have thought me foolish going to an expensive private university with no focus, but I'm so glad I did. I spent my first year getting acclimated to college life in another state and getting involved in all kinds of activities to see what I was interested in. One of my first general classes I took was Intro to Public Speaking. Most people hate getting up in front of people and speaking, but I really enjoyed it! I had a great professor and it got me interested in communication. At the same time, I was asking the usual first question when you are a freshman, "What do you study?" to everyone I met. One of the girls I met told me about the Communication Studies program, and the more she described it, the more I thought it would be a perfect fit. Although I love talking, I was more fascinated to study interpersonal communication, what role context plays, how different cultures communicate and even the psychology behind communication. So, at the end of freshman year, I changed to Communication Studies. I loved what I studied, and although some may say it's a waste because it has no specific career path, employers highly value those who can communicate well and with self-awareness. It is truly applicable in all areas of life because it's about interacting with people!

After graduating in 2015, I still didn't know what to do with my life. I got a temporary job over the summer, moved, and looked for jobs for 6 weeks before finding two part time jobs, one as the Customer Relations Manager for a wedding videography company, the other as an Office Assistant at Biola. I was interested in events at the time and thought that the wedding industry would be a good place to start. Soon I realized that it wasn't for me, but I got hired full time at Biola as a Gift Processing Coordinator for their fundraising department. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea either, but I was encouraged by one of the directors in the department who started at the bottom like me, put in her time, and took advantage of every opportunity to fill a gap in the department. So I waited for something closer to my experience to open up, and the meantime I met with everyone in the department to get to know them and find out about their role. Not only did I better understand the needs of the department, but I became aware of the gaps. When the Communications Coordinator role opened up a few months later, I had the relationships and educational experience to position me for success. Nine months later, I have continued to see opportunities and fill gaps. Some of my responsibilities have grown to include: managing a communication calendar, leading monthly marketing meetings, creating donation and registration pages, coordinating a variety of projects with our university's communication and marketing department, meeting with departments to help coordinate their fundraising materials, and a whole lot of other things. So if you're like me and feel like you don't have everything figured out when you should, don't stress! You may not figure out your major or get your dream job right away, but it will come eventually. Just figure out what you're passionate about and do it!"

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