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Opinion

Journalism major weighs college studentsʼ academic choices, desired future professions

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April 18, 2014

We’re almost done with another year already, and in these past few weeks we as students had the tedious job of scheduling meetings with our advisors and registering for classes.

No matter what point you are at in your college career, whether you’re a freshman or you’re prepping to graduate next year, this time of the semester always comes with a sometimes unwanted self-reflection about whether we are on the right track or not, and if we still believe that we have found the right major that will lead us to our future professions. There is no doubt that some time in your college career you have looked at the complicated schedule that you have carefully made for yourself and wondered if you are really doing what you want, or wondered if you have actually found the one thing you want to do in life.

Ever since I was a little girl, I considered myself to be something of a writer and I knew that I would want to do this for the rest of my life. That later switched to journalism as I realized that I had to pick something a little more realistic than the profession of “writer”, but even so, I always knew what I wanted to do with my life. Now, I was one of the lucky ones, discovering what I was good at and being able to plan out my future at a young age. But even now, especially at this time of year, I feel the anxiety and panic of wondering whether or not my future will turn out the way I hoped and questioning whether or not I will be happy with a journalism degree in ten or twenty years from now when I’m in the work force. This follows with me taking tens to hundreds of personality quizzes online all titled something like, “What’s Your Future Profession?”

I’ve always thought that it was a little, well, unfair that we have to make such large life decisions at such a young age. Where we decide to go to school and what we decide to major in effects the rest of our lives, and we have to make them at an age when we still might be in that phase where we have streaks of a random color in our hair. We have all heard that what we do today affects our lives tomorrow, and in this stage of our lives that has never been more true. Most of us are not even legal drinking age yet but we are trusted to pick out a single profession to pursue for the rest of our lives. I’ll be the first to admit that that’s just scary.

As you can probably tell I could ramble on forever about how life isn’t fair and how the future is scary, but I think that we all know that it won’t do us any good. I guess when it comes to those key decisions in our lives all we can do is try to make the best decision possible and just jump in with both feet and hope that we chose right. Even if our new class schedule is ridiculous, even if our one “easy” class turns out to be harder than we thought, even if the teacher is somewhat of a psycho, all we can do is try our best and hope that it all works out in the end. Because, like anything in life, we’ll never know if we did the right thing until we put our whole selves and everything we have into it… only then will we know if we have succeeded.

Natalie Howell is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the <em>Student Voice</em> during the 2016-2017 academic year.