College Crisis: Changing Majors

Our college years are full of dramatic “I’m not a grown up!” moments- mostly unexpected, and typically unwanted. Anonymous Valley writers discuss it all, from avoiding basic responsibilities to dealing with the big, bad future. Let’s talk about it.

ShantelleWilliams.CollegeCrisis (4)

I came to Penn State as an eager journalism major. I was (and am) aware that print journalism is a dying breed, so I came with a back-up plan: I was going to minor in French, the language I had studied for six years.

From day one, I loved both my major and my minor. I’m aware that journalism isn’t necessarily a “tough” major, and I used to joke around that my minor was harder than my major. During my second semester, I took a psychology class, and instantly decided I wanted to double minor. Shortly after that, I got talked into taking my French up a level and double majoring. The professor said that it could easily be done. What she neglected to tell me was that credit-wise it’s easy, but the classes themselves were a nightmare.

When I scheduled for my current semester and realized that without summer classes or more hours in the day I wouldn’t be able to minor in psych, it broke my heart. Giving up on my psych minor seemed to haunt me more than it should, but I brushed it off.

Throughout the current semester, I’d say that I hated being a French major, and every time I said it, it seemed to come out with more venom. It seemed that if I wasn’t at class or work, I was doing homework for those classes. My weekends became dedicated to French and I felt myself becoming more and more stressed out. I know that college isn’t supposed to be a cake walk, but at the same time I don’t think I should’ve been faking my pride when telling people I was a double major.

Eventually it got to the point where I was so overwhelmed that I was heavily failing a particular class. At this point you might be asking yourself, “Why didn’t she just drop it?” I felt that since I had dedicated over seven years of my life to French, I needed to stay with it. I kept saying, “Minoring isn’t an option,” although I think deep down I knew that if I didn’t major, I wouldn’t choose to minor either.

My common sense finally got the better of me and I dropped the class. It was a required class for the major, so I decided I wouldn’t pursue the major either. I thought I’d be feeling heartbroken over it, but after it was gone I felt free and at ease, something I hadn’t been feeling for months.

Right now I only need two more classes to minor, but I’m taking a semester off of French to clear my head and do what I originally intended to do: focus on a psych minor. Maybe I’ll never pick up the minor, but then again, next semester might roll around and I might be caught saying, “I really miss French.” All that matters to me right now is that I’m doing what’s best for me.

Photo by Shantelle Williams

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