Column: Choosing a major is choosing a journey

I grew up the fifth of seven children with a lot of loud cousins. I’ve never had a problem making my voice heard above the chaotic sounds of my beloved siblings but words don’t always translate into choices.  A lot of my family members and friends went to Seton Hall, majoring mostly in the sciences, graduated and moved on to bigger institutions and better incomes. I barely thought about my choice of college and followed along the path I was familiar and comfortable with. There was a peace in doing what was already done. I felt that I would have support in this area and people who knew how to navigate this type of major and the specifics that went with it.

But it turns out you can’t make someone else’s choices your own and then expect the same results. As a freshman I studied as a biology major hoping to track in the Physician’s Assistant program. I liked science, had done well in high school and had watched way too much Grey’s Anatomy. I saw myself working in a hospital as a medical professional but I didn’t see the whole picture. I felt excitement towards a specific scene that would take place far in the future for a total of five minutes, and not for the years of study and hard work it would take to get there.

This realization didn’t come until the spring semester of my sophomore year, after three semesters of stress-induced sleep and way too many expensive textbooks that showcased bacteria on the cover. I knew it was time for a change.

Throughout my first two years of college I had been commuting from my parents’ home in South Plainfield, N.J. A combination of dating boys who lived off campus, working four days a week and having friend groups located 30 minutes from campus led to not really having a presence at Seton Hall. I would go to class, and leave right after either to work a shift or to eat free food at home.

While none of this is inherently bad, it reduced the quality of my college experience. If I wasn’t maximizing my time on campus then I wasn’t here for the career fairs, I wasn’t going to the Career Center and applying for internships, I wasn’t involved with any organizations associated with my major. I wouldn’t join clubs because the times would keep me on campus later than I liked. I wasn’t passionate about what I was studying and I didn’t want to spend my time working toward it any more. So I decided to change my major.

I loved to write but I never thought I could make a career out of it so I never seriously considered any majors that focused on writing.

No one in my family ever studied anything in the communication field and I didn’t know anything about it. But somehow I found myself starting my junior year as a journalism major. I joined the staff of The Setonian and spent hours on writing assignments instead of turning pages in textbooks that I had to deadlift out of my bookbag.

I found what made college worth the drive. My final year at Seton Hall has contained the same amount of traffic as my freshman year, more car trouble than my bank account would like and a workload that makes me yearn for the days of ULife and Journey of Transformation classes.

But senior year has brought me a fresh perspective. I chose the avenue of higher education and, if you make the most of it, it’s worth it. We all have to grow to move forward in our lives and this is the place I chose to grow for these four years, and choosing a major that I was capable of growing in made all the difference.

Evelyn Peregrin is a public relations and journalism major from South Plainfield, N.J. She can be reached at evelyn.peregrin@student.shu.edu.

Author: Evelyn Peregrin

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