This one goes out to those of you with no idea. No idea what you’re doing at your chosen university. No idea what you’re going to major in. No idea what or who you want to be when you graduate and are forced to enter the real world. This one is for you, because I know; I’ve been there.
When I started college, I just had no clue what the next four to five years would hold. I joined the marching band (fantastic decision), I was part of the Honors Program (horrible decision), but I didn’t have a major. And I wouldn’t have one for three full semesters.
When I finally did decide on one, I did so because I just really needed to, and I chose Creative Writing because I liked it. That was it. I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do with it, but I liked it and that’s all that mattered at the moment. I did do myself a favor, though, and tacked on a minor in Mass Communications. I had taken one class and thought it seemed interesting, so I figured, why not.
All was good and well for a while, too. That is, until one day when I was talking to my dad and he, being a very practical, left-brained type of person, was hounding me on what I was going to do with my degree. And of course, I had no idea.
Shortly thereafter, he convinced me to double major; to turn my Mass Comm. minor into a Public Relations major. I didn’t know it yet, but it turned out to be the perfect course of study for me, even if it added on an extra semester. Who really wants to leave after just four years, anyway?
I realize that double majoring is not for everyone and some programs are just so much on their own that it would be insane to add on a second one, but I think it should considered by everyone before making any final decisions.
I usually tell people that Creative Writing was my fun major and Public Relations, my practical one. Though I enjoyed both of them, my creative writing workshops were my favorite classes in my entire four and a half years. I would not trade them for anything, even though they probably won’t help too much in my future jobs. However, they weren’t pointless either, mind you.
My “fun major” was the one that kept me going. Not every class is going to be thrilling in any course of study (Research Methods for Public Relations? Blegh.), but I knew that every week I could look forward to my fiction classes. We were always a small class, full of lively conversation and lots of laughs. Reading my peers’ stories or trying to finish mine at two in the morning was my lifeblood—the academic force that pushed me through the week. Not all of my other classes were miserable, of course, but there was only a handful that I would say I was truly passionate about.
I also feel like having a double major gave me a bit of a step up. I don’t know for sure, but I would think that if a potential employer saw that someone took the initiative to take on a second course of study, they would be pretty impressed that they were not only knowledgeable in one subject, but two. Mine also worked out particularly well because PR already required some writing skills, and I just enhanced them. In interviews after I graduated, I had several interviewers say they were intrigued by my writing background. That’s a big part of why I got the job I have now!
Someday working in a field where I can use the two fields together is my dream. And it could be yours, too, if you’re torn between two fields. Or if you’re like my dad and just think your passion won’t actually make you any money.
Be careful, if you are considering a second major, though. It takes determination and a lot of hard work. Some semesters I had insane amount of assignments (usually all due within the same two-day span), but it gave me the opportunity to develop some Superwoman-esque organizational skills and I was still able to work and participate in campus activities.
I did face a couple of scheduling issues throughout my time as a double major, but my professors and advisors were all great and worked with me to make sure I got the most out of both programs. Double the majors, double the chances of having fantastic faculty.
Like I said before, double majoring isn’t for everyone, but for me, with my personality and everything, it was the perfect decision. The extra work paled in comparison to the opportunity to pursue two areas of interest and the experience I gained on both fronts.
So, how do you know if it’s for you? Well, you should have a passion for both, or at least a pretty good reason why you want to pursue both, and you should be confident that you can handle the stress that comes with the extra work. Don’t think you’re married to both of them, either. You can always drop one, or switch to a minor, if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason.
Whether you are just starting out and have no idea what your future in college holds for you or you’ve been in school for a while and the idea of double-majoring is barely in the back of your mind, feel free to reach out me with any questions you have. I am always happy to share my experiences with others and help you sort through your options!
Megan is the jack of all trades for Tribe Twenty One. She is on the editorial team, one of the content writers, and works on the social media side. She is a recent graduate of Murray State University where she double majored in Creative Writing and Public Relations. Her love of words and literature can be seen in scrawled handwriting filling dozens of notebooks and her ever-increasing book collection