I'm only days away from starting my fourth year of college. These past few years have taught me more about myself than any subject I've learned while there. I started out as a nutrition major, inspired by my loss of thirty-five pounds when I was thirteen years old. I knew it would require a heavy math and science curriculum, two subjects I'm not crazy about. I pushed forward anyway, knowing I'd likely struggle with my typically average performance in both subjects. My family gently reminded me on a regular basis that I needed to make money when I graduated, so studying English, my best subject by far, was not encouraged even though they truly wanted me to be happy. It didn't matter that I never got less than a 90 in an English class in my life; I was convinced that it wasn't a viable career path. Even my English teachers told me it was a hard road.
I figured I could live with making English my minor. I knew deep down that wasn't true. I wanted it to be my main course of study. I kept trying to concentrate on nutrition, but the thought lingered in my mind. My dream was to become a librarian, which not many people understood. Why be a "boring" librarian who writes on the side when I could make good money as a dietitian? I kept this state of mind until I discovered some pretty good answers to my own question throughout my first semester.
Based on a college placement test known as the ACT, my score on the English section placed me into the freshman honors English class. It was the only honors class I was taking. As part of the class' requirement, I had to bring one piece of my work to the library's writing center, a place for undergraduate students to receive help and/or feedback from graduate students. The graduate student helping me that day read it halfway through before asking, "Are you an English major?" I answered no and she exclaimed, "well, why not? You're a talented writer!"
That right there was the first time I'd seriously considered taking up English. My second biggest indication was completing the class with a 98 while getting a C in math and failing chemistry (re-took it later and received a B-). I knew what I had to do. Yes, nutrition was interesting to me...but it wasn't my passion, nor did I perform well enough in the math and science fields to be considered competitive. Only one subject could evoke such strong enthusiasm. I switched to English and said to hell with money. My battle was not yet over, however. Let's fast forward to one year ago, once I transferred univerisities.
I again became worried about the massive debt I'd accumulated from spending two years at an out-of-state university, plus the debt that was yet to come from finishing my education here in North Carolina. I called my mother in the middle of September 2011 to inform her that I'd be a nutrition and English double-major in the Spring. I convinced myself I'd given up too easily on nutrition. I thought I could try again without abandoning English. HORRIBLE MISTAKE.
I scraped by in the next level of chemistry with a C and had to drop out of physiology mid-semester because I was failing. My graduation date was bumped from 2013 to 2015. Whereas English offered flexibility in what classes you needed and when you could take them, nutrition required a specific set of classes that were only offered certain semesters. Nutrition's strict scheduling wouldn't allow me to fit in an English class for two years. I decided yet again that the suffering was not worth it. In April, I officially re-declared English as my sole major with nutrition as my minor. As it turns out, I'm great at the actual nutrition classes. With nutrition as my minor now, I can still enjoy the healthy living aspect of the field without all the tough science classes.
The combination of being a transfer student whose credits didn't all transfer and making the mistake of double-majoring now puts my graduation date as Spring 2014, pending I don't mess anything up. It's a year later than expected, but it's better than the two years later (at minimum) it would've been had I continued balancing two majors!
I'm a writer at heart. I will spend hours upon hours on a paper without complaint, whereas doing chemistry homework for five minutes causes my brain to scream in agony. Writing ignites such a fire in me that nothing else is capable of causing. I know damn well I might end up poor. My loans continue to pile up, but selling my dreams to pay them off won't happen. I'm in the field where I belong. :)