We’ve all heard of mid-life crises. A “quarter-life” crisis is a term I’ve just recently heard for the first time. I haven’t experienced either of these yet, but I will say that I have been through my own “mid-college crisis.”
At the end of my sophomore year, I was immersed in journalism courses. At the time I was double majoring in both journalism and advertising, and I was on the 5-year plan. But I was miserable. I absolutely hated the journalism classes I was in. One was a theory class. My teacher was ancient and the papers we had to write were boring. To hate the class was a given. My other journalism class was the first news writing class I had to take.
I should have loved this class. I had always seen journalism as a big part of my future career, so I should have taken what I learned in this class and the assignments I was given and ran with them. The worst part about it all was, as much as I hated it, I was good at it. I received high grades on all of my stories, I learned AP style, I did everything that was asked of me, and I was receiving A’s in the class.
One day the unthinkable thought popped into my head – if I hated these classes so much, why was I continuing to major in journalism? I actually got mad at myself for having this thought. I had been doing journalism work since I was 15. But when I actually thought about it, it wasn’t the reporting that I had loved in my high school journalism work. It wasn’t interviewing people and getting “the scoop.” It was the creative design that was my own that I was able to put on everything I had a part of. And then I was decided. I was now a single advertising major. And I would be a Texas Creative.
When I told my parents this, I had myself so stressed out, I was afraid. I had gotten myself so worked up over this decision that I thought they would be upset with me for making such drastic changes two years into my college career. The minute my mom answered the phone I started bawling. But she didn’t care, and she cleared my head and made me realize things I hadn’t even thought of yet.
My major was my future career, and if it didn’t make me happy now, it wasn’t going to make me happy 15 years from now. If I accepted the fact that my coursework was making me miserable now and did nothing about it, I was only setting myself up for failure in the end. This conversation led me to make one of the best decisions of my college career.
Now another semester into college, I am faced with the same dilemma once again, but this time I am facing it calmly with my future being my number one priority. As an advertising major there are really two different paths you can take – you can be a Creative or Media person. Without being specialized in either of these sequences, I don’t see the point of really working in advertising. Media sales/planning didn’t end up being my thing—to much math and statistics. I applied for the Texas Creative program, but it didn’t pan out. I didn’t get in. At first I was disappointed, but this spurred a lot of exploration over the past few weeks.
And now here I am, exploring another major with only 3 semesters left until I graduate. Luckily advertising and public relations have very similar degree plans, and if I worked hard, I could probably finish in the same amount of time as if I made no changes to my major.
So, have you ever had your own “mid-college crisis”? How did you get through it?
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