The Classic Brunette: What To Do When You Don't Want To Pursue Your Major After College

Monday, August 15, 2016

What To Do When You Don't Want To Pursue Your Major After College


I'll start off this post by saying that this topic has been on my mind for a while now and it may end up as a bit of a jumble of thoughts. As many of you know, I'm a history major at Chapman University. Now let me also add that I was never the person who questioned what I would major in while I was deciding what school I would attend. I had always loved history, and in fact, I essentially had a 10 year plan that would end with me getting a PhD in American History and working at a Smithsonian museum. Anyone that knows me can tell you what a huge history nerd I am, and that I love spewing all of my favorite weird and hysterical facts and stories from history. However, last year I realized that there might be something that wasn't clicking anymore with my future ambitious plans. I realized there was a difference between a passion for learning, and a passion for doing. 

I have a huge passion for history. I love to learn all the interesting facts that other people might find boring, and I love knowing whats happened in the past to make us all who we are. But, I didn't love what I could do with history. I don't love research papers, I don't love giving historical presentations, and I just can't see myself entering that field anymore. I love going to museums, but I now know that I would much rather be wandering through one looking at the artifacts than trying to run the museum itself. 

Of course, in recognizing this I hit a bit of a wall. My first thought was that it's way too late to change my major, and I don't want to go back to school to learn something completely new. I thought I had wasted the last three years of college in something that I didn't want to pursue anymore and I was very lost and confused. I did however understand what direction I wanted to go in. 

I've been blogging for two years now and I'm obsessed with it. I love taking e-courses in my spare time to help grow my blog, and I love understanding social media and marketing strategies. I have a passion for writing, blogging, and everything that comes with it. I don't mind taking the time to learn more about this potential field in my spare time because it doesn't feel like a chore. I get excited when I realize there are new ways to grow my business or expand my reach. I have the passion for it and the passion to do it. Although I'm a few years late on figuring out that I want to work somewhere in this industry, I know that all hope isn't lost for me.

Yes I've spent my years in college studying something that won't exactly guide me on my way to professional writing, blogging, PR, social media, etc. But, I'm still able to take control now and steer myself in the direction I'd like to go. History has given me the advantage of learning how to become a better writer (via the huge amount of papers I've had to write and my upcoming thesis...) as well as giving me a great deal of info on how to do better research on any topic. So I know I'm not completely starting from scratch. In my years of blogging I've self-taught myself a number of important things that I'm sure I would have learned if I had been taking classes in this field. So not only am I not starting from scratch, I actually have a pretty defined foothold in this career path. 

In an attempt to lead myself into this new direction I'm also trying to put more emphasis on my blog and make it as good as possible. I also applied to be an intern with an online blogging network (woohoo catch me in the fall as a Style Guru with College Fashionista!), and will be taking as many classes in public relations and social media marketing as I'm allowed. I'll also be searching for more ebooks, ecourses, and other information so I can stay afloat with the other soon to be college grads who actually studied this information for four years. 

I wanted to write this post because I know there are so many others like me who feel like they're stuck in a major and that they now are forced into a certain career path. I'm here to tell you that it's never too late to change your path and strive for what you really want. All you have to do is put forth some effort and work your way up to where you want to be.

As long as you are actively trying to figure out where you want to end up and are trying to take the steps to get there whether this be through experience, internships, jobs, more school, or something else, you'll be okay.

Anyone else feeling/felt this way?

59 comments:

  1. You are not alone, Sami! I actually got my degree in English Education and taught HIgh School English for a year, before realizing that I didn't want to pursue a career in it. I turned to blogging as an outlet because I was having a midlife crisis and now I get to do it full time! It's never too late to change your story! Way to chase your dreams!

    xo, Chelsie @ Hey There, Chelsie

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    1. Thank you so much Chelsie! I'm glad you're a good example of this working out, I hope to eventually blog full time, but it's a long way off right now!

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  2. This post is so inspiring! YGG for chasing your (new) dream and I can't wait to see where this journey takes you! Changing majors for me in college was a similar obstacle; I wanted to do both Public Health & Journalism, but with Public Health, I couldn't have another heavy major or I would be in over my head. You just have to trust your gut!

    http://thealwaysblog.com

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    1. Thanks Savannah! I totally believe in the whole trusting your gut thing and this feels right, thank you for sharing your story! :)

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  3. Do what you love! I always think there is a way to do both and you'll figure it out! :)

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  4. Yes! Pursue your dream and don't limit yourself by your major! I have yet to do anything related to my college major and I'm totally ok with that!

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not alone in this, thank you for reading Susannah!

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  5. Haha love this post! I ended up pivoting away from my major post graduation! Happy I did! You'll figure it out as you got, with some panic attacks along the way, but it'll be worth it!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement Rachel! It really means a lot!

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  6. I feel ya! Changed my major 3 times and now I'm a full time blogger! Crazy how things work out! XO

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    1. Haha, my eventual goal is to blog full time, but we'll see how that goes!

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  7. Great post! Although this has not happened to me, this happened to so many of my friends and I am definitely going to link them to this. Isn't it great when hobbies turn into passions though?!

    http://thedoseofchic.com

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes I think it's so great when hobbies turn into your passions, even better if they can turn into a career!

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  8. I definitely relate - especially after going through my freshman year of college. I thought I wanted to be a political science major, and ended studying both French and International Studies. I knew I loved history and politics but just wanted to take it in a different direction. This was a great post!

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    1. Woah those are so opposite! Glad you figured out what you wanted though! Thank you for reading! :)

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  9. I feel like this is a totally normal thing that happens to a lot of people. Loved reading this post!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much Katie! Reading all these comments makes me think it's much more normal than I thought!

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  10. I stayed undecided on my major until I literally had to pick one. I had taken one Communications class and really liked it so I decided to declare it as my major and thankfully it all worked out great. I have a few friends that had the same thing that's happening to you happen to them though and things have worked out for them too! I just graduated with a BA in Communications with a concentration in PR and am applying for PR grad school programs so if you have any questions please feel free to email me, kristin.thomp22@gmail.com!

    Kristin
    The Blush Blonde

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    1. I will definitely email you if I decide to go in that direction!! I'm so glad everything worked out for you and I wish you the best of luck in applying to grad school!

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  11. I'm sorry to hear that! I studied finance and tried working for a bank but ended up hating it and moving into digital marketing where my true passions lie. Luckily business is a fairly flexible degree. Good luck to you!!

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    1. Happy to hear you switched to something you're more passionate about! Thank you Shane!

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  12. Great topic!

    Briana
    www.beyoutifulbrunette.blogspot.com

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  13. I don't think there is anything wrong with not wanting to pursue a career in your college major. I'm a firm believer in studying something you enjoy at the moment but not necessarily something you want to do forever. Either way college is still such a good learning experience not matter what.

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    1. I definitely believe that as well, you nailed it! Thanks Krystal!

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  14. Yay so exciting! I actually got a BA in Communication with a focus in PR and now work in social media which is what I always wanted to do and now I'm working towards opening my new business Confetti Social and being my own boss :)

    xoxo, Jenny

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    1. Ahhh I would love to work in social media! I've peaked on Confetti Social's social media and am so excited for you to officially launch!!

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  15. I felt the same way last semester, so I changed my major from Psych to MassComm. My excitement to learn more about my major waned and I wanted to learn more about media so I switched. Best. Decision. Ever. I'm actually kinda excited to figure out what I can do with this major!

    Alix | www.apintsizedlife.com

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    1. It's definitely too late for me to change my major since I'm headed into my last year, but I'm happy that you had the chance to!!

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  16. I needed to read this because recently I've been feeling a little at a crossroads with my major choice. Since I only have one semester left, I'm sticking with it for now and hoping that the spark will reignite.

    Tori

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    1. I know what you mean about having to stick with it! It's my last year, so it's kind of out of the question to switch. But I'm moving on to something more in my professional interest after graduation hopefully!

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  17. Sometimes it's hard to make that jump from college major to real-life work. I majored in Mandarin Chinese in college--a bit of an unusual major, and one that got me a lot of questions! I loved studying languages, I also studied Japanese and Spanish in college--it was only a little while after college that I realized my passion for ESL/English education. I love studying other languages so much and I LOVE teaching a language and helping to impart the fun of being able to communicate well in English. It's the funnest job ever. Perhaps majoring in Mandarin Chinese is a round-about way of becoming an English teacher, but I wouldn't change a thing! Besides, most of my students are native Mandarin Chinese speakers, so my degree has helped me out a lot with what I do on a daily basis!

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    1. I'm glad that things worked out for you so perfectly! That sounds like such a fun and rewarding job!

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  18. In an attempt to lead myself into this new direction I'm also trying to put more emphasis on my blog and make it as good as possible. I also applied to be an intern with an online blogging network (woohoo catch me in the fall as a Style Guru with College Fashionista!), and will be taking as many classes in public relations and social media marketing as I'm allowed. I'll also be searching for more ebooks, ecourses, and other information so I can stay afloat with the other soon to be college grads who actually studied this information for four years.


    Girl you are killing it! Just found your blog and totally obsessed with your style and vibe. You have your shit together and are WELL on your way! Keep it up baby girl.

    xoxo
    Krista
    www.hundredblog.com

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    1. Thanks so much Krista!! Your words mean a lot to me :)

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  19. This is me and all of my college friends! We're all doing things we didn't study in school but love where we all ended up thanks to our degree. I did my college internship with CF too, you'll love it!

    Greta | www.gretahollar.com

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    1. I'm so excited for my internship, so glad to hear you enjoyed yours!

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  20. I think this is so common nowadays. With an over saturated market and an less than thriving economy - it's difficult for people to even find careers they went to school for! There is also the aspect of growth while in college. I think ages 18-24 are such formative years for us. I changed so much in that time frame; when you grow, so do your passions and interests. We don't need to fit in a perfect box. I'm learning myself it is ok to be passionate about many things. I went to fashion school but now am a financial aid advisor at a college... Big difference! But after my experience in college, I became interested in helping others navigate college life. Very relatable post, thanks for sharing your experience!

    Best,
    Kali | StyleConscious.net

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    1. After reading all these comments I'm feeling much less stressed since almost everyone seems to go through this! Thanks for reading and sharing, Kali!

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  21. I LOVE this post. While I am majoring in marketing already, I love blogging so much more and there's no major in that! I think it goes to show how much you can teach yourself though the e-courses, reading books and other blogs. You don't have to major in business to start your own blogging business! Can't wait to see your college fasionista posts this upcoming fall :)

    Michelle | www.landofstyleandsass.blogspot.com

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    1. If only there was a major in blogging or influencer marketing! Thanks so much Michelle!

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  22. I have the dilemma of being interested in everything! Like you I want to learn about history but if I want to graduate on time I have to focus on my majors but I also want to take business classes and ah! It can seem restricting sometimes but it's so great that you're finding ways around this! I can't wait to see where you go with everything.

    -Meagan | Love by Meagan

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    1. I know, I've wanted to take marketing and business classes but so far I haven't been able to fit any into my schedule since I have my major and my two minors! Thanks for spreading some love Meagan!

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  23. Definitely have been through this! It's tough when you choose what you want to do so young, and then you make it so far into your studies only to have a change of heart. I think you're making a great decision though — it's so important to pursue what you love and not just what you think you "should" do!

    xx emily
    baublesandbrunch.com

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    1. I think that's one of the main issues with our schooling system! It's hard to decide what you want to do so young when you're still searching for what you love!

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  24. This is such an important topic! My second year of college I decided I want to get a degree in BIO in order to become a doctor. I quickly switched to communications because BIO was so hard and I didn't enjoy it. I am now a full-time lifestyle blogger. It's so funny how life changes but what stayed the same was staying true to myself. Thanks for writing this. I will pass it along!

    xoxo, Candice
    http://www.candicenikeia.com

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    1. You're living my dream! I would love to be a full time blogger, thanks for reading and sharing Candice!

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  25. So relateable!! I switched my major once in school because I felt this way and now that I'm out I still have doubts. I would love to take my blog full-time someday but only time will tell!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

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    1. I feel the same, blogging full time would be a dream come true!

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  26. I think it is more normal that we think, I didn't end up pursuing my major and most people I know didn't either. I think we learn more about ourselves during our college years and by the time were done we have a much better understanding of what we want in life so it's expected that it might not align with what we originally thought.

    La Belle Sirene 

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    1. From reading the comments this seems like the consensus! I'm glad that I'm not as along as I thought I was in feeling this!

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  27. I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately and, while I love my major still, I've also found a strong passion and love for blogging. I hope to fuse my two passions together and continue blogging as a speech-language pathologist! I admire the fact that you can recognize what you want and change your path, that's so incredibly brave of you!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

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    1. That would be incredible Kayla! I love reading your blog and I can't wait to see where you end up with things! Thank you for reading and sharing your side of things :)

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  28. Figuring out what you don't want is equally as important as figuring out what you do, I think. Go with your passion and don't worry about what your degree says. Good luck Kayla!!

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  29. I definitely understand where you are coming from. I hated grad school my first semester and wanted to drop out like everyday. I realized, for the first time, that not all parts of my major were fun, and it sucked. But, at the end of the day, I am still in the program and I am gearing up to apply for PhD programs in the same field. Mainly because I found the part of my field I enjoy, and school is much different from real life in that you can choose to avoid certain subjects that don't appeal to you in a way. Plus, I get really excited about solving sociological problems. I would look into doing something that combines both your loves, maybe running social media for a museum (not sure how many jobs like that are out there, but if you work at it, anything is possible!)

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  30. Oh, what a scary thought... I was able to graduate in 4 years with double degrees, so I cannot imagine changing my mind midway and having to start over...

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  31. Girl, you are SO not alone! I'm so glad I read this post because I now realize I'm not the only one who feels that way either! I first picked a Marketing major, then changed to business management with a marketing concentration. I graduated in May, but I had known since my junior year it wasn't really something I'd pursue. Marketing and managing business has definitely helped with my business and blogging and I know it'll help with whatever I do, but it's very hard - and knowing you're spending so much money with something you aren't 100% passionate about is definitely really, really hard! Glad we are in the same boat! XO!

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