Don’t judge solely based on major, amount of time spent in college

I’ll admit it; I’m not ashamed. I am a super senior. This is my sixth year of college, and I will finally graduate in May 2015.

After high school, I attended community college and graduated with an associate’s degree. I started with a journalism degree and then switched to psychology.

When I transferred to SVSU, I continued with the psychology degree until I had one year left of school. Then, I switched my major to professional and technical writing.

Along the way, I have had people pass judgment on the decisions I’ve made regarding my college education and post-graduation plans.

There is this notion that college students should graduate in four years. But how are you supposed to know if you like a major until you have taken numerous classes in the program?

When I was positive I wanted to go into the psychology field, I found there was a lack of support from others.

I went to a doctor appointment one time, and when I told the doctor my major, he said, “Oh, that’s a useless degree. You won’t be able to do anything with your life.”

I was astonished that this man I had just met felt as though it was his place to make comments about my future. He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know I’m a hard worker and that if I put my mind to something, I can do it.

What makes people, especially complete strangers, think they can comment on the life decisions of a college student?

A couple of months ago, I went to my dentist and she asked what I wanted to do with my writing degree. I told her I had just started the program, so I wasn’t sure yet.

After she cleaned my teeth, she said “Well, you might want to get that future figured out. Graduation is right around the corner.”

This frustrated and offended me. Again, this woman doesn’t know me, and graduation was not right around the corner. I had over a year left at the time.

College is stressful, and becomes even more stressful as graduation approaches. I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed of my lack of future plans when I go to get my teeth cleaned.

Students, it’s OK to be unsure of what you want to major in or do with your degree. Take your time and remember it’s all right to take a few extra classes (or extra years) to figure it out. Take the time while you are already in school, rather than going back to school later because you hate your degree.

And to non-students (especially doctors), before you ask  college students what they want to do with the rest of their lives, think about when you were our age and how uncertain you felt about the future. We don’t need any added pressure from someone we don’t even know.

Even though it will have taken me longer than four years to complete my undergraduate education, I’m happy I will have spent four full years at SVSU. Taking the time to be sure of my academic decisions has made me more confident academically, professionally and personally.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 6th, 2014 and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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