When I first came to the University of Oregon I came here as an architecture student (crazy, I know). I loved it and I was really good at it, too! I got A’s on all my projects and my professor used my final project as an example for his other classes. I felt really good about myself and I thought college was a breeze because it was terrifyingly simple and fun.
It wasn’t until I had to do a creative writing assignment for one of my architecture classes that all this changed.
My assignment was to pick a place I had traveled to in the past and describe it in the best way I could in 4,000 words. I think I had too much fun with this assignment, I spent hours looking at photos, reading journal entries I wrote during my trip and searching for inspiration from other writers and I ended up going over the word count by nearly 1,500 words. Sure, architecture gives you the opportunity to be creative and innovative, but I came to find that writing had no limits at all. You can only lay out equations, design and alter a structure so many times before it is unable to stand alone. Words, on the other hand, are completely versatile, they mean something different to each person reading them, they can be deleted, erased or added to. I fell in love with words and the power they hold. I wanted to help people through words.
So, I changed my major. I figured I could be a psychology major and work with children who were suffering with childhood cancers. When my step mother was diagnosed with cancer, my interest with diseases and cancers sparked an inspiration in me to help others in any way I could. I started my psychology classes but soon realized that I didn’t have a voice in this major. All it included was learning how to speak to people to get them to open up to me. That isn’t what I wanted.
So again, I changed my major. I began to think of things that would really let me do what I wanted with my life. Before opening a gun store on Maui, my mom was a teacher and I always admired her for it. I remember all the stress her students would cause, but she kept at it because she truly believed in helping them succeed. I thought I could be a teacher so I went into the education department for a meeting with an advisor. There they told me everything I already knew but I was excited to get started with classes because I was getting close to my junior year in college and I still had not stayed with a major. When I left the meeting I called my mom and told her I would declare an education major. She didn’t say anything for a while so I thought my phone dropped the call, because surely, she must have been ecstatic, right? Wrong.
“Jasmine, you love writing. You should write. Why aren’t you writing?”
She was right. Moms are always right, but she was really, really right with this one. The very next day I walked into the School of Journalism and Communication on campus and told the lady behind the counter, “I want to do this.” She looked at me as though I had just escaped an asylum. I suppose I could have introduced myself in a different manner, but I was so elated I had finally found what I wanted to do with my life.
Now I’m a senior in the journalism program and I’ve really grown from the lost little freshman I used to be. I know I have a point to writing this… Oh yeah, everyone changes their major, you’re not wrong if you change your mind, it’s never too late to discover your passion. Take all this into account and don’t feel like you’re wasting anyone’s time or money if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. You’re in your 20s, you don’t have to have your life figured out. Hell, I can barely figure out what to make for dinner, let alone decide what I want to do with my life. College is all about discovering your passion, exploring your talents and finding who you are. So take this opportunity and make the very most of it.