Column by Clarissa Moses

Clarissa Moses
Clarissa Moses

It was only a month ago when I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. I had a plan: major in journalism, minor in law, get straight A’s, walk out of college as a fluent Chinese speaker with a 4.0 GPA and become a writer for The New York Times (specializing in news and legal writing). It was perfect. Then my advisor emailed me about declaring my major and suddenly my plan fell apart.

It’s not that I can’t follow through with my plan…I am already taking journalism and law classes; I have spoken to one of the Chinese professors, my GPA is a 3.7 (so I’m close) and I’ve grown accustomed to the title “Clarissa Explains It All” while working for The Oracle so I may be New York Times-worthy pretty soon.

My problem is I don’t know if I like my plan anymore. I might want to be a public relations major instead, law is getting a bit too complicated, straight A’s was only a first semester thing, Chinese doesn’t seem so cool anymore and The New York Times, well, maybe that’s still possible.

After all of my strategic planning and mapping out of my life, reality set in as soon as my advisor told me I can set my plan in motion and declare. It was like a wave of anxiety swept over me and my perfect life plan was turned into 1,000 piece puzzle.

It’s strange how just two words – “declare major” – can spark all of these thoughts. It’s also strange how I can go from a definite journalism major to a possible English major, to an undecided major to a pretty positive public relations major then back to undecided in just a week.

My parents have told me to get out in the field: “volunteer,” “intern,” “see what you like.” Unfortunately, finding an internship (which is free labor) is just as hard as finding a job these days.

At the end of the day, I sometimes have to question if my major even matters. I’m paying thousands of dollars for this education and some of my future co-workers won’t even have a college degree. They will have gotten there by who they know, not by what they learned as whatever major in whatever college.

Yes, I know it seems a bit soon for me to start thinking about my future co-workers but I only have three more years – THREE! And I have just a matter of months before I am forced to declare a major. I refuse to waste my time taking random classes just as an experiment. I want to work toward my career, not just soul search while I fulfill my GE’s.

College is the time to figure things out… I guess…but I’m just hoping this road to self discovery doesn’t take too long.