Sunday, October 25, 2015

To Do: Soul Searching

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a restful weekend and were able to cross some items off your "College To Do List!" Speaking of 'to do's,' I wanted to share with you all a conversation I had with a family this weekend while I was working at an Open House. This student is a Junior in High School and she kind of knows what she wants to study but isn't 100% sure and she wanted some advice. Here is my advice to essentially any student in high school, college, and graduate school:


Honestly, this is probably the most influential piece of advice I can give a student. If you don't know what you want to study, that is okay and if you do, that's okay too! Some students will change their major once, some five times, and others none ... each student is different and they go through college differently too. Because of this, you need to do some deep-down thinking to figure out what you truly want to do. 

During my college search, my academic plans changed probably every six months. At first I wanted to study Political Science and Public Relations, then I wanted to student French and International Relations/Studies, then I wanted to study French and History, and then I entered college as a French and Adolescence Education major. Different experiences, thoughts, suggestions, conversations, and events helped propel my changes in academic programs. Even after my first year in college, I thought about switching to a Psychology major. So many people are going to shape your thoughts on what you want to study: parents, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, grandparents, teachers, a random presenter in your US Government class. I'm here to tell you that it is okay to change your mind while you are still searching for a college! 

Here's my solution: Fall in love with a college that offers all of the things you may be interested in! The College Board (the same company in charge of the SAT) has this quiz/survey-type thing where you can search a variety of characteristics: housing, athletics, majors, location, diversity ... etc., and then colleges that fit that criteria will show up. I used this tool constantly from my 8th grade year to my Senior year to find the schools that would fit the major I liked at that moment. (My alma mater consistently showed as a result, which I why I chose to visit the first time). Once you find a college that you enjoy being at, then the academics will come. It is easier to do an internal change of your major as opposed to needing to find an entirely new university that offers that one. 

Especially if you are a sophomore or a junior in high school, you do not need to latch yourself to a major just yet. I would be mindful of the courses that you choose to take, just in case there are pre-requisites and then you ultimately do decide to pursue that major. Ultimately though, you have plenty of time to find that program and career that you are meant for. (I didn't find mine until my junior year of college!) 

So check out that survey and research some of the schools on the list, then in six months, try it again and see if any of the universities stay the same! You have time, so you use it to figure out yourself first and grow as a student!

enjoy the chase,

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