Erika Farwig asks "What should I declare as a major?"

Erika FarwigAfter I had finally decided that Valpo was, indeed, the school for me, another crucial issue still awaited my decision.  What should I declare as a major?  Not being one of those kids who knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up, I struggled to narrow my seemingly endless list of interests to one specific area of study.  Of course, students are told that there is plenty of time to choose a major, but I knew that I was not going to waste away my precious time without at least starting in a certain direction.  Before I arrived at FOCUS, I had declared a major.  After the few June days on campus, I had my schedule in hand, anxious to embark on the path of my chosen major.

Almost three months into my first semester, however, I proved correct the statistics on college students regarding their majors:  I had changed my mind.  While this notion is far from uncommon and hardly shocking, I was left in a blur.  I had no idea how to go about deciding what exactly it is that I want to do with my life, or what I could at least try out for awhile.  My family and friends were encouraging and somewhat helpful, yet I knew that I had to seek some more qualified assistance. 

I had heard tidbits of the Career Center and their career counseling services.  In fact, every day I would see the brown and gold brochure tacked to the bulletin board above my desk.  I would flip through it occasionally, but I still wanted to experience firsthand what the Center had to offer.  Realizing that time was running low before I was due for scheduling the spring semester’s classes, I scheduled an appointment with Career Counselor Holly Simpson.

In all honesty, as I walked over to the Career Center that day of my first appointment, completely ignorant of their services, I was less than confident in their abilities to legitimately help me.  In high school, I had taken surveys to the effect of “What Job Will You Have?”, but I never had I been satisfied with the results, finding them almost useless and inaccurate.  Prepared to experience the same disappointment yet also hoping to be pleasantly surprised, I entered the building and sat down with Holly.

Just as if I were the heroine of a Disney movie, only much less cheesy, my wish was granted.  That first meeting with Holly was nothing like I had ever expected.  I kept waiting for her to hand me survey and leave the room.  Much to my surprise and delight, our meeting was entirely oral, and I was doing most of the talking.  Unlike the typical, “What do you like to do?” questions, Holly asked me about aspects of my life that I never considered might relate to career interests.  At one point I actually found myself near tears as I described the inspiration I find in my parents—and I am definitely not a crier!  Holly’s questions evoked my underlying feelings that I never thought could be indicative of possible career paths.

This meeting was the first of three.  I met with her again to review the results of the extensive online tests that I had completed on my own.  By the third appointment, I had landed on a new major, which I soon declared so I could meet with my new advisor to set my schedule.  For the first time since I arrived on campus, I was confident in my major choice and excited to plan for my future at Valpo. 

Overall, my experience at the Career Center surpassed all of my expectations.  I was lost in deciding on a major and was at the point where I did not know what else I could do.  My Career Counselor provided the guidance I needed and led me to discover, as well as confirm, various qualities of myself that served as key factors in swaying my decision.  While the Career Center has no magic machine that scans your hand and produces the guide to your perfect major, they helped me get as close to such a phenomenon as I possibly could.  I highly recommend scheduling an appointment with a Career Counselor to anyone who feels as I did.  You may be struggling to choose a major, but the Career Center gives the necessary assistance that will cure your worries and get you on the track that best fits you.