How I Found My College Major

Not everyone walks into college or even applies to college knowing what they want to do with their lives. You don’t need to, but it’s not bad to think about what you love to do.

There’s something funny about my family. My brother wanted to be a lawyer even in high school. No matter how smart he was in science, or how much the teachers told my mom he could be a doctor, nothing swayed him. He paid his way through college and stressed all the way through law school to become a happy lawyer and a father of two beautiful little girls.

My sister wanted to be a vet when she was little. My mom tried to sway her with “then you’ll have to stick your hand in a cow’s butt” which grossed her out, but never deterred her. She worked as a kennel girl in high school, eventually became a vet technician and is now a full-time vet that will spend extra hours to take care of an animal. She shows off the teeth she pulls when doing dental work – she just loves her job.

You can imagine with those two I was worried about where my life would take me. I had a Loyola and a Northwestern University graduate in the family before I was even in high school. But my career, my major, came to me differently. Okay, I was still young, but it was a slow moving love that grew into something applicable.

In first grade I loved to write and tell stories. I would tell my mom stories at the bus stop, she would read to me every night and I was writing five-paragraph essays and reading the dictionary before I could ride a bike. So it wasn’t a surprise to my mom when I applied to be an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing.

But that wasn’t the only major I was thinking of.

A more lucrative writing career would be in journalism, or at least that’s what everyone was telling me. I had to think about making money, about a future that would sustain me and I could get a “real” job. I applied for Northwestern’s journalism school, but was actually relieved when I didn’t get in. I didn’t want to write breaking news stories. My real passion lies in fiction and it always will be, that’s why I’m a creative writing major, but that won’t stop me from having a real career.

The most important thing is to think about the skills you can have in a job and what things you love to do. I love writing. English teaches me writing, which I can apply to a plethora of jobs. It also taught me to do research, to look at things from different lenses, and to analyze. I decided to minor in Journalism for a back-up plan and it was through that I found another outlet for my writing passion – magazines. I love cooking and baking, but it’s not like I’m a five-star chef. I can combine my passion for writing and for food in a food magazine. The skills I learn through my major and minor will support that dream.

Maybe I’m not a lawyer, a doctor, a veterinarian, a business owner or an inventor, but I’m doing something that I’m passionate about and I’m using my major to gain skills that will last me a lifetime. That’s what is important about deciding a major.

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Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich is a senior creative writing major at DePaul University. She is minoring in journalism and aspires to be the next big food writer. Her love of writing propels all she does from her food blog to online magazine articles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably baking. She has a ferocious sweet tooth and adores cupcakes of all shapes and sizes.