Not too long ago, while giving a campus tour, a mother asked me, “If you could go back and do college over again, would you do anything different?”
I stumbled a bit, but came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t. But if you know me, you are well aware that I am coming upon graduation and have decided that I, the print journalism major, do not want to be a newspaper reporter.
According to Toppel, that’s OK, because I can use my journalism skills in several different careers. However, according to all the pressure I’ve been receiving lately, that’s not OK.
For the past four years I have had my fair share of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change a thing, even if I had the opportunity. The way I see it, every moment of college has blended together to make me who I am today. I may not be as interested in being a reporter anymore, but I would never trade the skills I learned (especially the skill to call complete strangers and ask them incriminating questions).
My choice to major in journalism led me to seek a double major in studio art with a photography specialization, which, because of my core requirements, forced me to take an art history class. Last year, I added an art history minor and have since found my true passion.
During my years as an undergraduate, I learned that I love writing, traveling and art. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all of that. While I’ve had a few internships at newspaper and magazines, I’m now feeling the pressure to secure a full-time job instead of applying for additional internships to gain experience in my new area of interest.
My advice to the undergrads is this: Do what you love and love what you do. I met someone the other day who had pressure from his parents to be a doctor, but he fell in love with art history and ended up as a Christie’s intern in London.
Your college years don’t necessarily have to train you to go straight into the field of your degree. They can be an opportunity for you to expose yourself to many areas of interest that high school never let you experience. If you are an engineering major and want to be an engineer, great. But if you are a psychology major and want to go travel the world on a cruise ship, go for it. These are your years to explore. Enjoy them. And don’t be afraid to let loose and take that crazy anthropology class you’ve secretly been curious about. You might find your true calling.
Ashley Davidson is a senior majoring in journalism and studio art. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.