Follow your heart

Lauren Owens, Staff Writer

Most freshmen come to college without having a clue what they want to do with their life.  I came to college thinking I knew exactly what I wanted; I was going to be a doctor.

But after one semester at college, I hated studying biology.  I dreaded the thought of three more years of labs and four years of medical school. However, if I was not going to medical school, what was I going to do?

Last semester, I started working for “The Patriot,” I fell in love with the process of publishing newspapers.  Spending time in staff meetings at The Patriot office, taking photos of different events on campus and writing opinion columns helped ease my stress from the rigors of biology. I knew that I would love to write and travel, but when I talked to my parents about the possibility of changing my major, they immediately expressed their disapproval.

I was caught between following my heart and pleasing my parents.  It took me an entire semester and most of winter break to build up the courage to make my first real adult decision.

I realized I was only a biology major for the sake of my parents’ approval. When I was a freshman in high school, I would plan what I wanted to do with my life.  I had lists of colleges, jobs and majors that I wanted to pursue.  On the top of all my lists was taking photography classes and being a journalist, but my parents’ opinion outweighed mine.

Over winter break, I was in Cleveland on a Baptist Collegiate Ministry mission trip.  While on the trip, I was taking pictures for an assignment for “The Patriot” and I knew in the bottom of my heart that I only wanted to be a mass communication major and that was where I would be most happy.

As soon as I got back to my house from the Cleveland trip, I emailed the first mass communication professor I could think of to change my schedule, and a week before the spring semester started I changed my entire schedule. This was the craziest, most nerve-racking thing I think I have ever done. However, I cannot imagine being a biology major now.

Since changing my major, many opportunities have opened up.  I have truly enjoyed studying for my tests and doing my class work because I love studying the subject.

Many college students go through situations similar to mine. Telling your parents that you are going to major in something different than what they want for you is always difficult, no matter the situation.

There is one thing to keep in mind if you are in college: this is your life to live.  Yes, it is a bit cliché, but you only have one chance to live, so make it as fulfilling as you can.  Major in whatever will make your days more enjoyable.  When you look back at your life, you want to be happy with the career that you have pursued.  It’s never too late to start living your dreams.