Professional tips for college students

My name is Amelia Jacobs and I am a 24 year-old first year graduate student at the University of South Alabama. I received a bachelor degree in communication with a focus in public relations in December 2013. I am currently an educational administration major, but starting in Spring 2015 I will be in the mass communication masters program with my anticipated graduation being Spring 2016. After receiving my masters, my goal is to become a college professor teaching freshman communication courses.

Outside of school, I like to spend my down time being around my family and friends as well as volunteering with non-profit organizations such as Distinguished Young Women and the Mobile Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). I am a personable, outgoing, caring and hardworking individual who is dedicated to not only achieving my life goals, but surpassing them. Hopefully, one day I can help others do the same.

My name is Amelia Jacobs and I am a first year graduate student at the University of South Alabama. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a focus in Public Relations in December 2013. I am currently enrolled in the Educational Administration masters program, but I recently decided to change my major…again. Over my college career, I changed my major six times causing me to attend an extra year of undergrad and run out of financial aid before my last semester. That probably sounds like a terrible situation, but I had to make some wrong choices first in order to figure out which major was right for me. Eventually those wrong choices lead me to figuring out my true career path, and I would not take them back even if I could.

This brings me to the question most beginner college students ask, “How do I know what to major in?” More than likely you are not going to stick to the same “dream job” you thought of when you were five years old. Even if you did, I am pretty sure there is no program on how to be a princess or a cowboy. So, how do you know which major to choose? For some people it is easy. They have an idea of what they want to do, they enroll in a program and that is it. But, if you are like me, it is not an easy decision and you are lost in a limbo of possible future career choices with no idea of which direction to go in.

Luckily, there are several ways to at least get an idea of a major you would be interested in. Some cities have career counselors and most higher education institutions have academic advisors who specialize in providing insight on different career fields. These professionals know the requirements and the careers particular majors can lead to. All it takes to speak to one of these advisors is a simple phone call or email to set up an appointment. There are also tests available online to help you narrow down your possible fields of interests.

However, I suggest good old fashion research. Look at your skill set. What are you interested in? What you are good at? Ask friends and family members their opinion on what they could see you doing professionally. My mother is actually the person who helped me choose my undergrad major (if I listened to her in the first place I would not have been in school an extra year). The most important question is what do YOU want to do? After all, your major is about you and what you want your future to be.

Many students fear enrolling in college because of the vast amount of majors to choose from and how to know which one is right for them. The main arguments I hear from people considering college is: “What if I choose the wrong major and waste all that time and money learning a profession I do not want to do?” Well, the reality is making mistakes are part of the learning journey and guess what? That is okay! If those mistakes lead you to where you want to be in life, then it is not a waste. You cannot let the fear of college keep you from reaching your goals and bettering yourself. I did not let it stop me so do not let it stop you.

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