Experimenting in college

Hi! My name is Febby Mulia, I’m 19 years old and was born and raised in Indonesia. Currently a senior at University of Washington-Seattle (Foster School of Business) pursuing a Business Administration degree with a concentration on Finance and International Business. I transferred last year from Green River Community College after receiving an Associate’s Degree. Investment banking is something I’m hopefully going to do in the near future, but for now, college is where life is at. My passion lies in my family, friends, math and music.

There’s a time and place for everything, it’s called college.

I remembered starting out in a community college three years ago, doe-eyed and not being quite sure what I’m actually doing there. Then it occurred to me, the reason I go to college: to find out who I am as a person and find what I want to do in life.

Keeping an open mind should be one of the priorities when starting out in college. You’re in a whole new environment, away from what you’ve known your whole life — family, old friends, hometown traditions. Know that you’re not alone, as cliché as it sounds, there are bound to be other people who are as confused as you are.

Colleges offer hundreds and thousands of variety of classes, they are there for you to take them. I’m not saying that you should take everything, but it’s not a bad idea to ask around, or take a look at the course catalogs to fish around for something that you might enjoy, or want to try. If you’re not so sure, there is absolutely no harm in asking for other people’s opinion. My number one target for my curiosity was always the advisors; they are, in my opinion, the best source for anything college related. And then there are also those who have been in college longer than us, the seniors; asking them for class recommendations or about their experience in certain classes can also be very helpful, and perhaps more relatable.

About half a year into college, I knew I wanted to do business. However, this didn’t stop me from taking non-business classes. One of a more interesting class that I took was a journalism class, it was suggested by a friend of mine. This class allowed me to work for the college’s student newspaper and I eventually continued working there as a section editor. I would’ve never thought that journalism would be something that I enjoy doing.

Maybe your friends have different interests from you, and choosing from an ocean of classes also can be overwhelming. So another way to experiment with classes is through planning your degree. Whether it’s a general or major-specific degree, classes can be tailored to completing that degree. Again, don’t hesitate to consult with the advisors and ask about alternative classes which could be taken in place of the regular recommended classes. My degree requires me to take another public speaking class, so I went to one of the advisors and she recommended classes that I could take instead. From that list, one stood out particularly, and acting class. I’m not much of an actress, and in fact I’m not a huge fan of performing, but I figured that this is something new and it sounds much more interesting that another formal public speaking class. It has been about three weeks into the class; I’ve been learning something new every session and it surprises me how I really look forward to that class every morning.

If you have found that one thing that you want to pursue, that’s awesome! But for those who haven’t, try to keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try. Success doesn’t come with just one failure. So think of these experiments as a way to eliminate things that you don’t want to do for the rest of your life. Also remember that other people are there to help and guide you through this journey.

Happy experimenting!

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