As I am sitting at my desk, cooled by the brisk air conditioning amongst the sweltering summer heat, I find my heart leaping for joy as it anticipates the extension of our Stag family to the incoming class of 2025, as well as to others. Pondering over my own transition to campus as a first-year, which took place during the cusp of a global pandemic, it is beyond any doubt that all new incoming students are sure to feel welcomed.
Contemplating carefully over what I wanted to write for my contribution, I allowed myself to reflect on the past twenty-four months. I tapped into my own memories of being a spirited high school senior, both excited and fearful of what was to come next. I reminisced over the eagerness I felt as I entered this new chapter of my life, as well as the anxiety that clung along like ivy.
This anxiety I am referring to came from one of the main mantras I remember citing back and forth amidst my friends at the time, “The classes we take are about to really matter. We can’t take it all anymore. We have to choose which to gain strength in and which to let go.”
As someone who likes to hold onto things in my life and keep as many doors open as possible, this was terrifying to grapple with.
It’s this mantra that serves as the opening to a topic so powerful that it has served as my greatest life lesson thus far, and one I wish to share with you all as you begin this new chapter.
Firstly, although – yes – it’s true that which direction you’re about to take is narrowing in regards to class subjects, there is still time to change your mind amidst the vast opportunities provided for growth here. In fact, it is very likely that you will change your mind. Do not let all the options offered here amongst discovering which major or majors are best suited for you cause an overwhelming sensation. Rather, accept the idea of change with an open mind and trust your journey.
At this moment, perhaps, you have a major picked out or maybe (as many do) you are attending in the fall as “undecided.” Either way, be open to and prepared for alteration in your plans. At Fairfield University, you are here to grow as an individual through our Magis Core curriculum and shared values; through this growth, you will undoubtedly discover new characteristics of yourself and passions you never knew you had. New opportunities will arise for you in this chapter of your life and I encourage you to accept each one and let it excite you.
I began my journey here as a biology major, fully set on becoming an Optometrist. Currently, I am a member of the St. Robert Bellarmine Pre-Law Society, as a digital journalism and economics double major, looking to pursue a minor. I am still in touch with the pre-med track, leaving that door open for me as well. My whole direction switched completely, and it wasn’t because of the high workload offered by science majors or my grades. I completed my first semester as a Bbiology major with nothing short of an A-.
My change of course served for different reasons. Of course, you may find these to be the reasons you switch your major in the future, which is perfectly plausible. For me, however, it came down to gaining the courage to pursue what I truly love over what society perceives to be a worthier career choice (especially financially).
There were many years that I struggled, teetering back and forth between pros and cons lists as I listened to the opinions of others on what I should pursue. This left me anxious and grappling with a false reality. I suppressed my fondness for writing and put my dreams on a back burner when I chose to enroll as a biology major. I was overwhelmed by a false sense of relief, which I thought to have come from making the ‘right’ decision, but I now know it came from the mere relaxation of my own anxiety. I continued to convince myself that I was headed in the right direction.
The longer I ventured into the semester however, the louder my inner voice began to assure me something was missing. And just like that, almost as if it was fate and destined to happen all along, I began to drift towards what I am meant for. I formed a friendship with my writing professor, excelling in the class and finding myself wanting to devote all of my time to it. Encouraged by one of my writing course projects, I began writing for The Mirror quickly after. On a whim, I applied for a position as an editor of The Mirror and to my greatest surprise, as I was only a first-year, I became the opinion section editor. With The Mirror requiring a decent amount of my time and efforts, the decision immediately became clear and I made the switch in my academic realm.
I could not be happier in my current position as a student here and I am still very much excited for and expecting change.
With that being said, my next big piece of advice when discovering which major is best for you is to sign up for and drift towards what you love. By doing so, you are bound to flourish socially, academically and spiritually.
If you find yourself unsure of what career you may want to pursue, start smaller than that. Sign up for new classes you’ve never taken before. Venture out into the new, uncover hidden passions, and steer yourself in that direction. The pieces of the puzzle will all come together, even if it may seem unclear now or in the coming year. Taking a class that you love and learn from is never a waste of your time.
You have until the end of sophomore year to declare and stick to your major, so utilize this time wisely. Take a deep breath as you begin here, acknowledge the narrowing down as you choose a direction but also recognize the vast opportunities provided along the way.
It is my hope that you come here excited! Remember, it’s as simple as following what makes you happy and the rest will surely come together.