In school and at home, we are often told to follow our passions and that we can do anything. In college, it’s time to actually choose what we want to do. Whether you are a high school senior or you are halfway through college, this post is for you.
I chose to major in music in college. At the time, it seemed like a good idea. Music was about the only thing I truly enjoyed and could see myself doing for the rest of my life, but things have changed in the past few years.
One of those things is discovering a love for blogging and social media. I had been into creating websites since I was thirteen, but I was almost ashamed of my interest in it. I have also wanted to be my own boss since I was twelve. I’ve had both of those passions for much longer than classical music.
I am lucky to be finishing college in the *typical* four years, but if there is one regret, it would be to have majored in digital media or communications or some other related field. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago on making a post-college decision, and while I am still not ready to announce my decision for the whole world to see, I will say that it does not involve a professional music career.
Living as a professional musician would involve too many sacrifices, and quite frankly, music has lost its spark for me. I can’t even practice for very long without thinking about this blog. What post should I write next? What sorts of products could I sell?
Those are also the first and last thoughts I have everyday. Music will still be a huge part of my life, but I am completely fine with being an amateur. If you are struggling with picking a major or with finding your true passions, here are some tips.
1. Think About All of Your Interests.
Don’t just narrow it down to the subjects you study in school. I never took a digital media class, but it is now my biggest passion. Not every possible career or major is taught at the high school level. Don’t suppress an interest just because you don’t think your parents will approve or because it’s weird. It could be the perfect thing for you.
2. Consider the Time Commitment.
If you are passionate about something such as music or dance or theatre, there will be hours outside of classes where you will be required to practice and perfect your art. Can you handle that? If you hardly ever pick up a book in your free time, you probably shouldn’t major in English literature. If you are excited about the work, then you might have found your calling.
3. Think About Careers for Your Major.
What sorts of jobs are out there for your field? Are they competitive? How well will your major prepare you for these careers. If you are in school, you most likely have access to a career center where you can talk to someone about your options.
4. take an Interest Questionnaire.
If you have no idea what to study, look around online for a career or interest quiz. While these quizzes are not set in stone, they could lead you to something when you don’t have anything jumping out at you. Some quizzes will ask about what you want in a job or what you value as a person. The questions can get weird, but it is always a good start.
5. Be Flexible.
My most important tip is to be flexible. If you only follow one of my tips, please let it be this one. As I said in the first part of this post, my biggest regret is not following my new passion for blogging once I learned I had it. If I had any more time in school, I would probably switch to a major in communications or marketing, but since I am able to graduate in a few months, it does not seem worth it.
I rediscovered blogging and website design/creation about a year ago, and I wish that I treated it as more than just a second interest. I wish I would have switched to a more complementary major. Please don’t make my mistake.
6. Work Your Resume.
If you are like me, and you discovered a passion and it is to late to follow it as a major, don’t fret. All you have to do is figure out how to show your passion and experience on your resume. Look at the basic skills that you have learned. In my music classes, I have learned how to write and how to work with people. Those are skills that can follow me to any career. I have also been blogging to some degree since my freshman year of college. I can put that as professional experience on my resume. Find ways to get that experience so that you can go into your desired field and feel prepared.
7. Don’t Give up.
If you find a new passion later on in college or after graduation, don’t get discouraged. If you feel that working in a new or different field is what you really want, then do it. Odds are you won’t be happy working in your degree field if it is not what you are truly passionate about.
As much as I do love music, I have come to realize that the professional music world is not for me. I am able to revisit some of my biggest passions that music put on hold, and I am forever grateful. Even though I may not be working as a musician, I know that my music degree will take me far, and I plan to keep working toward my goals until I achieve them.
Have you changed majors or careers to follow your passions? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading!