Tag Archives: major

From Candyland to College: A Journey of Self-Discovery

12 Sep

Candyland: the game we all played as kids that is solely based on luck of the draw. Candyland has a progression, steps to follow, short cuts, and even built in roadblocks. The journey to become “King Candy” is different for everyone, and some of us even get stuck at (what feels like) EVERY licorice space.

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We grow up being asked,”What did you learn in school today” and “What is your favorite color.” That usually ends, but the question that prevails is “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

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While growing up, I always had an answer to that question… but as freshman year approached, panic set in. I have to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life RIGHT NOW?!

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I had given myself 3 potential options: Conservation Biology, Theatre, or Business.  When the day came to register at the University of Arizona, my perfect career idea had not yet smacked me in the face. So I clicked the No Major Selected option and hoped for the best.

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During that summer before I entered college, I decided that conservation biology was probably going to be it for me! At orientation, I registered for a few courses that would let me try out the major but remained undeclared. It was not long before I realized that as much as I wanted to do conservation biology, it was not exactly what I had thought it was and not what I wanted to do. This devastated me, it felt like everyone around me had a major and an end goal and I was now stuck in hard classes that were probably not going to get me to where ever I needed to go.

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I was extremely fortunate to have made some great friends that first semester because they helped me realize that changing my major is normal and I was going to be okay. So I made the decision to apply to the Theatre Arts Design Technology program. I was accepted a few weeks later and I finally felt like this was it! A short time later, I added on a business administration minor because it was my 3rd idea and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a minor.  After enjoying a year in the Theatre program, I knew it was not meant to be my career and I knew I had to change… again. I was extremely frustrated, I felt like I had wasted a year of my life and college experience on something that was not meant for me. It took me a long time to realize that finding out what is not right for you is just as important as discovering what is. With no other ideas, I thought it was time to try the 3rd idea I had before I even entered college – I switched to the Pre-Business track.

I am proud to say that I am (finally) a Business Management student in Eller College of Management. I have a theatre arts minor, because I was a few credits shy of the minor when I changed majors. Finally, I have a Sports Management certificate because why not! What I am most proud of is that I will be graduating on time!!

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We’re all currently on the Candyland board, in different spaces. Some of us have been stuck in those licorice spots for seemingly forever, while others may never have that experience. I would say I am jealous of those who don’t have those road blocks, but I can’t say that is true. As frustrating at it has been to find my path, it has made me stronger and I realized things about myself I would have figured out who knows when otherwise.

All I can tell  you is do what feels right. Utilize your resources, talk to your advisor or the advisor of the major you are looking into.  It’s okay if you don’t know what you want your major to be and it’s okay to change your major!

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If you are ever just completely at a loss just remember… it’s Beyoncé’s world and we’re all just living in it.

 

-Elena

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Check-up for Success

12 Sep

Coming to college can be overwhelming you may feel like you are getting lost in the crowd. It’s the fourth week and maybe you’re starting to see people at the university getting settled  into their majors. And if you’re a student without a major, it can sometimes feel like you’re getting left behind. I came into the University of Arizona knowing that I had tons of exciting opportunities…and having no idea where to start. Finding the right path for you can be intimidating, but here’s a check-up for your new semester. (And, if you couldn’t already tell, I’m going to be using a bit of medical humor because I love Grey’s Anatomy.)

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Step One: Check Vitals

Evaluate yourself! Ask yourself, “what do I like, where do I see myself?” Make a list of your interests and focus on yourself.  So many people sign up for classes that their friends or family want them to be in. It is VITAL that you choose class and clubs that interest you, and only you.

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Step Two:  Explain your Symptoms

It’s important that you talk to someone about what you are feeling and thinking. Sometimes it’s difficult to talk to parents and friends because they might not have all the answers that you need. Just like you wouldn’t ask a dentist about your chest pains, you might not want to ask your family and friends about your academics. This is where academic advisors come in – they’re your cardiologists (at least for this metaphor – please don’t go to your academic advisor in the case of a cardiac event). They are a great resource to get you going down the right path. If you have any questions about what major to join, what jobs coordinate with a major, or what classes to take, advisors have all the answers. It is always important to have your questions symptoms heard in order to get all the help that you need.

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Step Three: Clinical Trial  

Now it’s time to see if all the information that you have gathered and narrowed down works, test it out. Go for a major that interests you and that you feel confident about. Take classes that put you on the right path and talk to professors about the class or the major itself. There is no harm in a little extra data, so join clubs and volunteer in the field that interest you.

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Step Four: Follow Up

Clinical Trials do not always go the way we want them to, so sometimes we need to change them. If you find from “analyzing your data” that the major you picked isn’t for you, it’s ok to change. Don’t tie yourself down to a major that you aren’t passionate about. Because if you think a wasted semester is bad, think about a wasted four years. If you have an inkling that things aren’t what you want, it’s much easier to fix that now than after you have a degree and wish you had followed a different passion. So, if things don’t feel just right, go back and talk to your advisor. You might need to rewrite your list of interests and find what speaks to you. Trust your instincts and start exploring new majors

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If you take anything away from this, please know that it’s ok to not be completely certain of what’s to come. Put yourself out there and enjoy the time that you have in college. Now I’m not saying that you should just blow off choosing your major, I’m saying that it’s important to take the time to find yourself and the things that you are most passionate about. Follow your instincts and don’t force finding your passion. Sometimes you will find it in the most unexpected ways. Have fun, explore what you love, and don’t be afraid to get a check-up. Sometimes you need a professional opinion!

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Major Change Reporting for Duty!

23 Apr

Whether you came into college with a major picked out already, or thought you’d find one along the way, choosing a major and sticking to it is a huge anxiety for many students. Worse, after you choose a major, you may decide it’s not right for you. What do you do then?

Well, for too many students, step one means freaking out and talking yourself out of it. I mean, you’ve already put in so much work! How can you possibly throw all that away even if you hate your major classes and dread going? I’ll tell you how. Take a deep breath, follow your heart, and take the leap!

See, here was my strange journey. My freshman year, I started out with a history major and an adolescence, community, and education (ACE) minor. Then, my sophomore year, I added an English major. Second semester, I dropped my ACE minor. Junior year, I dropped my history major down to a minor, and added my ACE minor back. Only to drop that poor ACE minor once again. It was a bit of a juggling act, but all accomplished with absolutely zero waste! In just a few weeks, I’ll be graduating with an English major and history minor, on time and with just the right amount of classes to graduate.

That’s the trick to changing your major – look at your requirements and see what carries over. Best of all, there’s a handy tool called the What-If Report to do all that thinkin’ for you!

Introducing the What-If Report!

Introducing the What-If Report!

While your major change may not be as clean as mine, don’t let a few unnecessary classes that you took keep you from pursuing the major you want! Seriously, if you think throwing away an entire semester of classes is bad, think about how much worse staying in your unwanted major is. You spend four years and who knows how much money pursuing a degree for a career you don’t even want any more.

So, would you rather spend a bit of extra time in school because you changed your major, or spend your whole life in a job that makes you miserable?! Okay, so that last part may seem a bit dramatic, and maybe it is. But it’s not far off – that could happen. And changing your major and having a ton of classes become useless is a worst-case scenario. Chances are that your transition into a new field of study could be easy as pie!

-Tori

 

Studying on the Wild Side: A Day in the Life of a Conservation Biology Major

16 Apr

We all meet people throughout college that are studying different things. If you’re like me in any way, you might ask yourself a few questions. What classes do they take? You go on field trips?! They have those in college? Do you do research? What does a typical day look like? The list of questions goes on and on. Fortunately, I am here to answer some of those questions for one of my majors: Conservation Biology.

First off, the full title of the major is, Renewable Natural Resources- Conservation Biology, but that is far too long to say and most of the time i lose people at the second word, so Conservation Biology it is. A typical day for an RNR major as they are nicknamed goes a little something like this…

Go to class. As a RNR major you are required to take classes like Conservation Biology, Genetics, Measurements and Mammalogy.. Yes, I said Mammalogy. You might be asking what the heck is that class? In short the study of mammals, but in long, a semester’s work of dedication to memorizing, recalling and sight identification of 150 animals native to Arizona and the wester United States. Now, this might make it seem like there is a lot of library time memorizing, but that is far from the truth. Here is was the class looks like:

We did a lot of research outside in areas throughout Arizona. We saw some pretty awesome locations and views.

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A major in conservation biology doesn’t require that you conduct or participate in research, but there are ample opportunities to do so throughout the college. I participated in a joint study between U of A and Arizona Game and Fish Department where we studied the wildlife-urban interface in Chandler, AZ. It was an awesome way to get “field” experience and it looks great on a resume!

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Part of the being a RNR major means that at some point in time you will have to work with wildlife. By work, I mean hands on work. As groups we would catch and analyze small mammals like the one below. Isn’t he cute!

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You spend a lot of time with the people in your major and many times they become some of your closest friends. A campfire always helps the bonding also.

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Sometimes, you get dared to do some silly things and have to eat a grasshopper… The key is not opening your mouth after you put it in.

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We survived, and it didn’t actually taste too bad. I earned some bonus points with the professor that day though.

The major isn’t always outdoors, camping and eating weird bugs though. There are different tracks that you can follow. My focus was on policy and law which allowed me the opportunity to participate in an internship for the Arizona State Senate.

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I was of the only student who wasn’t a political science major (nothing against Poli Sci), but this was an advantage. I had experienced or followed many of the laws that guide agencies such as the Arizona Game and Fish Department when doing research and field work, so I had a unique perspective that proved beneficial.

Overall, my major may not be typical, but it has sure been a blast. Despite the memorizing. I encourage you to ask your friends what a typical day looks like in their major or to take an elective class that counts towards your graduation, but is outside of what you would typically study. You never know what will interest you!