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Senior column: It is never too late to do a 180

I went to a high school that molded engineers, and my class was filled with some of the smartest math and science students in New Jersey. I loved math throughout my school years, but liked it less as I got older. It became harder for me to picture being in math and science for the rest of my life. [caption id="attachment_22929" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Swinton[/caption]   I had taken just two communications classes throughout high school outside English courses, and those two classes opened my eyes to a world I had never seen before. For the first time in those classes, I was challenged creatively. In my younger years, I loved the structure that math brought and struggled when I was not in that box. Then suddenly, that changed. There was one specific project that spurred me to research majors that involved video production. I had to make my first video project – a task that was difficult in terms of the software being used, but a challenge I was ready to take on. I found myself working on the project outside class time as much as possible. I loved putting the work in to get the best product possible. I had control over the outcome and I wanted it to be great. I was happy with the finished product and got good feedback on it, too. It was a good break from the math and science classes I took and opened me up to a new world. While I can say the high-intensity workload of high school prepared me for college, ultimately, the biggest lesson I took from a math and science high school came in communication. I learned it in my senior year in a mass communication class, and it was during the final project that I realized possibly my most valued lesson – there is more than one answer to everything. After years of focusing in math and science where I had my head stuck in one solution to every problem, my mind widened. Not only can more than one answer be right, but also I have the power to make my solution unique to stand out from the rest. I had a factor to control. While studying formulas and solutions was the way I controlled my outcome in math and science, I connected on another level with how I could use creativity to stand out. It is a lesson I try to keep in mind in each project I take on or decision I make. Some communications majors say they went into the field because they were not good at math, but that is not the case for me. Sometimes I question if leaving the engineering field was the right decision, but looking at the memories and experiences I have gained through The Setonian, I know I made the right call. At Seton Hall, I had the opportunity to cover two NCAA Tournaments, the NBA Draft, make friends and lead a great staff of writers for two years. I learned it all by diving head first into something completely new. It is never too late to do a 180. Follow what you love to do. Elizabeth Swinton is a broadcasting and visual media major from Linden, N.J. She can be reached at or on Twitter @eswint22.


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