DECIDE FOR YOURSELF

Liz Soolkin is a recent Brandeis University graduate with degrees in Business and French and Francophone Studies. She also minored in Film, Television, and Interactive Media. She is currently searching for a full-time opportunity in Public Relations. She spends her free time finding new activities to be interested in. She loves to cook and her Pinterest page, as evidenced by her Pinterest page. Social media and interpersonal communication is her passion and she hopes to find new and exciting ways to interact with others

As a recent Brandeis University graduate, I look back at my time at the university with very few regrets. I applied to the university as an Early Decision applicant. I was awed by the liberal arts environment and the way students embraced such a diverse range of subjects as their passions, areas of academic study, and the topics of their extracurricular activities. I, as any good freshman, (or “first year” as the politically correct world now calls them) ran to my teaching advisor, a woman in the French and Francophone Studies Department. I asked her all sorts of questions that pertained to my interests, which I eventually hoped would become majors or minors. Her advice to me was “try out as much as you can, as early as you can”, famous words heard by almost every liberal arts student. I took her advice to heart.
My first semester, I tried out Spanish (although I had studied French throughout Middle and High School), Classical Mythology (an interesting but rather useless class), General Chemistry (I never had a knack for science), and Intro to Psychology. Throughout that first semester, I constantly questioned my decision to “try out as much” as I could but I replayed my advisor’s words in my head, disregarding my own inner voice.
After trying my hand at random courses for a few semesters, I found myself far behind my peers who had decided what they wanted to be “when they grew up” when they were 16. I, on the other hand, am 22 years old and am still unsure what I want to do with my life. But I digress.
As hard as it was for me to find what I was good at and what I enjoyed spending time doing, I stuck with the idea that I would eventually find it and have time to graduate with all the majors and minors I wanted. Sophomore year, I discovered the Business major, an area of study to which one must submit an application. My Business advisor recommended that I do not get my hopes up. I had very little chance of getting into the program as it was quite exclusive and selective. He told me to pick a backup plan, something that I was unprepared to do as I had not found what I was good at. What he failed to mention was that the industry of “Business” was broad and included many different aspects. My interest was in Communications and I stuck with my decision to apply despite my advisor’s suggestions.
In May, 2014, I graduated with a dual degree in Business and French and Francophone Studies and a minor in Film. I have very few regrets about my time at Brandeis but I do wish I had learned to stick to my intuition earlier. I regret taking the words of my advisor very literally and spending a semester studying Spanish instead of beginning my French studies earlier in order to achieve a major in Film. My first years were exciting as I discovered my passions but I believe in the importance of listening to one’s intuition in order to avoid regrets.

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