A Major Decision

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I’ve noticed that deciding a major is a topic that comes up a lot when in conversation with parents, faculty, and other students here at FPU. Honestly, it can be a bit overwhelming. How are we expected to pick one subject area to pursue out of so many options? There are many students who are really stressed because declaring a certain major is a big deal. For me, the hardest part has been asking God for guidance on this matter and not receiving any answers. I don’t want to begin taking difficult classes for a certain major and then end up switching my major a year later. All of that time spent studying would seem like a waste if it has nothing to do with my final career choice. I have talked to many students about this and have found that we’re pretty much in the same boat. Thankfully, I have decided on a major that I could see myself staying with. I am soon to declare a major in kinesiology: pre-occupational therapy (OT). I have been seriously considering OT for about two years now and have even shadowed OT’s before. For me, this is an ideal career for many reasons. I have listed my reasons for choosing this major and career below. I hope this serves as a good example for students who have no clue what to choose:

1. Find out what you’re passionate about.

This can take some soul-searching. Thankfully, my passion wasn’t too hard to find because it was all around me. I love young children! I started working with children when I was about 12 through babysitting, and my experience with them grew from there. I’ve volunteered in my church nursery, taught private swim lessons, and helped out in pre-schools. They bring me so much joy, and I’m confident that I will work with them in whatever field I pursue. As an OT, I would like to work with people of all ages, but specialize in working with young children who have developmental delays.

2. Do the research based on what you want for your future.

When I was younger, all I cared about was finding a job that would make a lot of money. Now that I’m older though, I’m realizing it’s not all about the money. Sure, making enough to support a family is very important, but in my opinion, it’s more important to do something that you love. I think if you’re doing something well, you enjoy it, and if you’re serving other people, you’ve made the right career choice. This means that there can be many “right” career choices out there for you, not just one. I also want a career that allows me to raise a family. Occupational therapy allows me to do all of this. It is a career that is high-demand and pays very well. It is also a career that allows you to choose your own schedule. Ideally, I’d like to work part-time when I first have children and move to full-time once they’re older. I would also be able to stay local and work within the valley, and this is important because I’d like to be near my family.

3. Ask for help.

I’ve found that besides doing online research, asking people about what major/career you should go into is extremely helpful. Of course, even the people you’re close to probably won’t have a specific major to suggest for you, but they can help you identify your strengths. Who knows? They might give you ideas of careers that you’ve never heard of before! Most high schools and colleges also have career services centers where there are plenty of people to provide you with information.

4. Use your life experiences.

As a young girl, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, a disability that caused the left side of my body to be weaker than my right. I had to wear a leg brace on my left leg throughout elementary school, and I struggled a lot with writing because I’m left-handed. However, I worked with a physical and occupational therapist for a few years and they helped me become stronger. Now, my struggles are practically non-existent, and I have excelled in multiple areas of my life. I owe part of my success to my therapists who patiently worked with me and encouraged me. Looking back now, I can see that I want to be able to do the same thing for other children.

Those are just a few ideas to help someone get thinking. I know that I’m only a freshman and my major could definitely change, but I think I’m on the right track. Good luck everyone!

Vanessa

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