“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
I got shocked after hearing the words of professor Gilbert about our final blog post. I simply couldn’t believe that my blogging journey for Multimedia journalism course and this semester are slowly coming to an end.
I have a feeling that the end has come to early and that right now, when I got used to hardware, software and pace of the class, I would like to interview more people and say lots of new things about my potential interviewees and their “major” steps.
Nevertheless, let’s see whether I have learned the lesson!
The question I was trying to answer through my blog is how do college students choose a major and find their place in the professional world? In addition to answering this question, I have also tried to solve a personal college major dilemma.
During the first two months of my blogging, I learned that students should consider job market, stop hesitating and that they should primarily follow their heart while choosing a college major and future career, because the life is too short. I have also learned that nowadays even people with fine arts degree can easily become part of the business world due to the technological improvements which have increased demand for artistically-inclined professionals.
The last two months of my blogging led me to some memorable discoveries marked by even more memorable statements.
‘It wasn’t simple decision at all because, in my opinion, choosing a right major is more important than just going on college or university. So first of all I had to talk to my family, close friends and after considering everything I decided to major in economy. It was the major I wanted and I still want to do in the future’.
After hearing the words of Ulziibadrakh Dagdan, a second-year AUBG student from Mongolia, I realized the importance of time. The usage of time, as one of the irrecoverable sources, plays a critical role during decision making. I realized that time in college goes by really quickly and that constant dilemma and lack of clear resolutions about the college major and hints about future career, may lead to time and money consuming troubles such as prolonged studying for bachelor degree. In addition, I realized that I need to employ all of my resources and consult everybody I consider trustworthy.
The moment I made my list of future interviewees and cousins I will ask for an honest advice I found an interesting tweet via Storify containing the link to the article named “Why you shouldn’t let other People’s Opinions Affect your Career Choice?”. This is a small part of it:
“Although parents are usually well-meaning when they try to get you to follow a certain career path, there is no point in you doing what they want you to do if it’s going to make you miserable. The same is true whether it is your parents trying to influence you; your partner or your friends.”
After the initial “O my God” reaction I realized that these words totally make sense and I have crossed out the names of my family members. My parents for instance, in spite of supporting each of my college decisions tend to behave persuasively when speaking about majors for which there is high demand on the job markets but in which I am not really interested. In my case, those are Business Administration and Economics. Despite the fact that I understand them and their concern about financial status of my future, the decision about college major choice should be entirely mine because after all, I am the one who will take certain major or do particular job.
Then I conducted the interview with Jonathan Lyons, accounting professor at AUBG, who restated some of the advices I have mentioned before:
“Many first jobbers would change job anyway. You can always take career brakes, but you need to get the experience. You probably enjoy different things when you become older. No offense to anyone, but when you are in your teens or early 20’s the world is a big, exciting place, but after you do five to ten years of work you can then look around and try some different things.”
The interview with Lyons taught me that finding place in the professional world is a life-long journey not a destination. Additionally, I learned that there is no such thing as final professional or educational path. Lyons himself has two degrees, Accounting and Psychology, and is a certified English language instructor.
When I thought I’ve learned it all I heard “Ciao” from the Italian. Pierangelo Castagneto, American history professor at AUBG, has firstly told the following sentence about choosing a college major:
“Try to ‘waste’ some time before making the final decision.”
Castagneto himself has “wasted” certain time after high school by being the so called “green” journalist. He then realized that history or more specifically American history is his call. He afterwards said :
“If we admit that human life can be ruled by the reason, the possibility of life is destroyed.”
This powerful sentence has completely captivated my thoughts. For one moment I started thinking what is the reason why people like or dislike certain things. What I realized is that there is no logical explanation why somebody, for example, likes writing, drawing and chocolate, but completely dislikes mathematics. My conclusion was simple; everybody is born with a set of genes and natural inclinations which should serve as a general guide towards the suitable college major and career choice.
The answer to the question of my blog therefore looks like this:
College students choose their major and place in the professional world by following four essential steps:
1) Getting lost and admitting that they have a dilemma – Once you admit you have a problem you are no longer struggling with your emotions or trying to give a false picture of yourself to yourself and other people. Your mental energy is now focused on the solution of college major and profession dilemma.
2) Traveling – by traveling I am referring to discovering. I have chosen the word “traveling” because choosing a college major and profession is a process which requires certain amount of time. During the “traveling step” students should be open to all the options. This process is no different than tasting new food or buying new clothes. You should do whatever you feel right and speak to whoever you consider helpful. I started working on the solution of my dilemma by sending e-mails to the professionals working in my area of interest containing clear questions about their professions, trying new and different courses at my university and finally starting a blog and therefore discovering the stories of different people by interviewing them. My plan for the close future is to take an internship as soon as possible and become one hundred percent confident about my decision.
3) Making an educated choice – Before you actually try something you may never know whether it suits you. Personally, I used to have a big fear about accounting. I am bad at number crunching and I was actually thinking about giving up the whole business major just because my friends told me that it is hard or that professor is a tough grader. After taking financial accounting I realized that it not unmanageable and that I would like to take a business major in addition to my journalism and mass communication major.
4) Being aware of the change – One of the conclusions I made from the stories of my interviewees is that you can always change your educational and professional path once you realize that is not really your niche or when you simply stop developing yourself. My grandmother likes to say that “As long as the person is alive, there is a solution.” You should therefore make the most of your current opportunities, make lots of steps and walk through your “major” path as long as you enjoy it.
I am grateful to all the people who followed my work on this blog so far. Nevertheless, I need to inform you that this is my farewell post. I think that neither you nor I should perceive it as a typical good-bye, but as an opportunity to relax from each other, gain some new experience and raise some new questions for the future blogs.
So, until the next blog!