Find yourself first, your major later

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket Staff, Date: March 3, 2016
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Entering college as a freshman is the first real taste of independence that most people have.

For the first time in life, people are taken out of every environment that has shaped who they are and their opinions on the world around them.

For the past 18 years, everything they’ve learned either came from their parents or teachers, or even their peers.

When they get to college, most people end up questioning their way of thinking, their belief system and who they are as a person. This is absolutely normal and part of growing up. In fact, this experience will help people to grow up and understand the world around them.

In four short years, students will be expected to emerge from this university not only with experience from their chosen field of study, but also as a well-rounded adult who is capable of thinking and making decisions based on who they are and what they believe in.

Not only will they learn who they are, but they will also learn who they are not. College is a time when people should seek out experiences and opportunities that take them out of their comfort zones, and make them uncomfortable, if for nothing but the learning experience that comes with doing those things.

The first choice students make when they apply to Slippery Rock is what their area of study will be.

Some students pick out a major they don’t really like, but one that has a high starting salary and predicted job growth. There is no bigger mistake than doing something for the money instead of their interest in it, and it’s the reason that over half of students change their major at least once.

For this reason, it’s important for incoming students to keep their mind and options open so that they don’t get stuck doing something that they don’t like to do for the majority of their adult life.

By doing this, students ensure not only their happiness, but their success. No one strives to go above and beyond for a job that they don’t love.

This doesn’t mean that a student’s interest has to translate literally to a field of study.

If a student loves art, but can’t find the practicality in getting a degree in art, then they could pursue a career in graphic design and advertising.

Students who are nervous about getting a job with a creative writing degree could instead seek a degree in professional writing.

As long as they have some interest and passion for their field of study, then they will succeed in it.

Standards of success will vary from person to person, but even if someone makes little money, but is happy and strives to be better in their chosen career every day, that person is thriving. Ultimately money doesn’t matter.

Students shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes and take chances. If someone has never made a mistake, then they’ve never tried anything new or taken a chance, which is worse than not making any mistakes.

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