Growing up, I excelled at science and math and took AP courses in those subjects during high school. After class, I would solve my homework problems, figuring out which equations and solutions would work. It was challenging and interesting, but I hated spending hours reading from such dull textbooks.
My media electives were another story. I would sit hypnotized in front of the computer, creating graphics using Photoshop, editing my own films, and creating websites. Media gave me a buzz. Still, when it came time to choose a major for college, I was indecisive. Media and science are so different, I thought. When it came time to register for classes first semester freshman year and select a preliminary path, I checked the box next to “undecided,” knowing that eventually, I would have to choose.
Decrypting My Future
My advisor helped me sort out my major. She gave me a personality quiz that assessed my work interests based on my personality. My top score was in “Investigative,” meaning that I liked working with puzzles and would fit in a science career. I thought, “Hey, I got my answer!” However, I looked again and noticed that I had two top scores. “Investigative” tied with “Artistic,” which described my work habits as expressive and innovative, suggesting that I would fit in an artsy field like writing or photography. I was disappointed. I didn’t get the clear answer I wanted.
‘Introduction to Media Studies’
My advisor, aware of my two very different interests, recommended that I take introductory classes in both fields. So freshman year, I took “Biology 101” and “Introduction to Media Studies.” The biology course was fairly easy, but it bored me. It was so similar to the AP Biology class I took the year before. My professor discussed in extreme detail the process of cellular respiration, energy processes, fatty acids, and other intricate life processes. She was a great teacher, but I didn’t enjoy sitting in a lecture hall. I missed the class discussion that I found in my “Media Studies” class. Learning about Hollywood and yellow journalism fascinated me, and it was interesting to analyze how new media had changed global societies. At the end of the semester, I declared a communications major.
Fun Times ‘Filming the City’
I entered the First-Year Study Abroad Experience program my second semester in college. Learning in London was a one-of-a-kind experience. I had access to tons of free museums, libraries, and a world-renown media industry. In the course “Filming the City,” my classmates and I wandered from iconic to edgy London while discussing films. For one assignment, we created a short film about the London Underground. Studying in London definitively helped me recognize that I was in the right major. It was in London that my wanderlust was born. I fell in love with Europe, traveling in buses, trains, and airplanes to enchanting, ancient cities. I loved getting my passport stamped at border control. When I returned back home, I knew it was too soon. I had to go back.
Find a Way
When I returned to campus in the fall, I changed my major a second time to global media. Two years later, I’m back in London studying in one of the best media universities in the world, the University of Westminster. I learned a lot about myself in my first year of college. And you will too. You’ll realize which things you’re good at, and which things you actually enjoy. You don’t need to know your major from the beginning. You just have to be open to trying new things, allowing yourself to learn. I’m still learning today. I didn’t even know that I wanted to do journalism until a few months ago. Looking back, I realize that the signs were there. My quiz said that I was “Investigative” and “Artistic.” Journalism encompasses both of those things.
This semester I hope to tell you about what it’s like to be a global media (new media journalism) major. I hope to tell you about my scary, embarrassing, funny, and incredible moments. Even though you’re not sure what you want to do, I hope my posts can help you find out.