Picking a Major is So Easy a Caveman Could Do It

You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to pick a college major. As GEICO Insurance’s popular commercials state, “It’s so easy, a caveman could do it.” You see, our primal instincts come into play when choosing a college major. No, that doesn’t mean you have to catch and kill your chicken in the dining hall before you eat it, or build a fire in your dorm room to keep warm. It just means that sometimes our first instinct is best. At least, that was the case for me. To guide you through my college experience, let’s follow some caveman sayings.

“Ooo. Hand in paint. Paint on wall. Pretty picture. Ooo.”

Journalism took me in its chokehold. I was the kid who wrote a newsletter for my fellow students in elementary school. That was followed by short stories about a bunny that develops superpowers and other tales based off the Harry Potter series. This passion for writing escalated in middle and high school as I joined the yearbook and newspaper staffs. Through the years, it became clear writing was my niche. I enrolled in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a journalism major. I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life…or so I thought.

“Animals run far. Chase over hill.” *Grunt*

By the time I was departing for my freshman year of college, I was running for the hills to get as far away from journalism as I could. I don’t know what happened, but something switched in my mind: journalism was not for me anymore. I quickly began exploring other avenues. Anthropology courses racked up on my transcript. A few English and World Literature courses trickled in. Even earth and environmental sciences popped up. My mind was all over the place. I knew I loved nature, writing, and reading. I explored all the avenues, but I was surprised by where I ended up: right where I started.

“Bison. Big. Big bison.”

I came to the realization that journalism was perfect for me. I could explore. I could write. I could meet fresh faces every day. I could be outside as I traveled between stories and locations. I would learn valuable lessons in research, integrity, and ethics that could apply to any writing jobs I was led to through my journalism degree. Settling in my spot as a journalism major made me as happy as a colorful bison painted on a cave wall. My initial instinct and my love of writing, which led me to my interest in journalism, turned out to be right choice for me. All that grief spent researching majors my freshman year was useless because I had already found what made me happy.

Now, this tale may not relate to those who are undecided entering college. However, if there is something that is pulling you, but you’re unsure if it is the right career path for you, explore it! Look through those cave walls, look at the pictures, and see if this is, indeed, the right choice. Still, I didn’t take this journey to my destiny (that was equivalent to Odysseus in my mind) on my own. I had help.

Picking a major can be confusing. Luckily, there are plenty of people to talk to about all of those jumbled thoughts. The only way I knew journalism was right for me was because I vocalized my thoughts to those around me. I visited counselors in various departments at my university to see what careers a certain major would lead to, and what I had to accomplish to graduate. Friends and family were there to comfort me and direct me on the right path, as they know who I truly am. What really helped me from making a rash decision was talking about my thoughts.

If you’re waffling about your college major, channel your inner instincts. It’s that easy. As you sort out your future, talk about what you’re dealing with. Most important, don’t burn any bridges in getting there because you might just end up right back where you started.

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Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs is a sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a News-Editorial Journalism degree. An avid bookworm, Rebecca reads all texts Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut when she’s not busy writing for The Black Sheep on campus. Back home, she spends a vast amount of time enjoying nature with loved ones.