Changing Majors or Career Choices
By India Heckstall | May 5, 2014 | Leave a Comment
Throughout my childhood, I loved talking, listening, and reading about politics. I enjoyed all of my political science classes in high school. When I came to Campbell, my passion for political science grew even more. I initially wanted to be an attorney, but I made the decision towards the end of my sophomore year to pursue a career in public policy. In the spring semester of my sophomore year, I took Introduction to Public Policy with Dr. Mero. This was my favorite political science class I have ever taken. I instantly fell in love with public policy! I immediately began to ask Dr. Mero what exactly public policy is and what kind of career I could have if I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in this field. During his office hours one day, he helped me find graduate schools that offer a Master’s in public policy, and he encouraged me to pursue a doctorate degree, as well. Dr. Mero explained to me that there are many areas of public policy, which include education, healthcare, and social policy. I left his office with a plethora of information, and I had no idea where to begin my search. Every area of public policy interested me, and I knew I was going to have to narrow down the fields I would love to learn more about.
After taking the Introduction to Public Policy class and talking to Dr. Mero, it still took a few months for me to decide that I no longer wanted to attend law school. Instead, I wanted to earn my Master’s in public policy. The next step was to break the news to my parents!
Many college students are nervous to tell their parents that they no longer want to pursue a certain profession, but consider looking at it from another point of view. Explain to your parents that you have found a new desire and passion. You must realize that they will still love you no matter what and will always be proud of you. Initially, they may be upset when you tell them you have changed your major. But trust that they will not stay mad for long, especially after you show them that you are 100 percent dedicated to what you want to do with your life.
I will always remember when I told my parents I did not want to be an attorney anymore. I contemplated for days whether or not to even tell them or how to tell them. I did not know what to say because for so many years they had their hearts and minds set on me becoming an attorney and making partner in a law firm one day. One weekend I went home, and the first person I told was my mom. She was shocked and did not take the news well. She felt as if someone discouraged me from becoming an attorney, but I calmly told her I made the decision on my own. I am pretty sure she didn’t accept my newfound love of public policy until months later, but she eventually came around and is excited about me wanting to attend graduate school. My dad, on the other hand, always told me to do whatever I wanted and whatever I enjoyed, so he took the news well.
Now I have narrowed down the graduate schools I want to attend. I am strongly considering becoming a professor because I have a love and passion for reading and research.
The best advice I can give to freshmen who change their major or who decide to pursue a different career is to go for it! Do whatever you think will make you happy and what you will enjoy the most. You do not want to be stuck in a career you hate, and you do not want to dread going to work every day. You should always pursue your dreams.