Don’t be chained to your major

Devinn Adams

Facebook sucks.

Let’s be honest, all social media sucks when you get past the cute animal gifs.

Beyond the cute animals are the updates about how awesome that former classmate of yours is doing.

Seeing those updates can be a real bummer when you realize that they’re doing remarkably well, while you can’t figure out what direction to go in (and even more of a bummer when you realize you’ve used the word “bummer”).

When you see all the awesome things your peers have lined up before they’ve even been notified they’re eligible for graduation, it makes you question some choices
you’ve made.

When I decided to major in psychology, I knew what I was signing myself up for, or at least I seriously thought I did.

The plan was simple – do my four years, maintain good grades and get into a stellar grad school.

I was not naïve enough to think it would be smooth sailing, nor could I fake being enough of an optimist to think this would all come about easily (let alone at all).

So how did I do?

Well I survived my four years – with the fleeting thought of quitting a few times.

I got my diploma, which means I passed what I needed to and can proudly say I’ve never withdrawn from a class (mostly for fear of seeing a dreaded “W” on my transcript because though grad schools may excuse one or two, I feared being looked at questionably).

And I was a dedicated member of the Psychology Club. I was in office probably longer than I should’ve been, but I’m proud of some of the things I’ve done with it and being able to pass it onto capable hands.

All of that aside, one of the best lessons I’ve learned from the psychology department came from a freshmen seminar class: your degree can never limit you.

That day in class, they had speakers come in to tell us all of the different things that people went on to do with their undergrad psychology degrees. And the lesson was given the stamp of approval by Tamara Baker, the director of the career and development center.

Of course during that lesson, I was most likely thinking of how I could never become one-tenth as successful as any of the speakers, but nevertheless, the
lesson stuck.

And little did I know that year would be when I would start a tumultuous affair with the newsroom.

I don’t regret a single moment of signing up to do work study with The Maroon. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I didn’t know what all the various options for work study were, but in my head, it involved being a not-at-all dignified secretary, so I took the assistant job simply because there was no experience needed.

If it weren’t for being advised to switch things up, I would’ve been content being the puppet master of the website.

I’m glad I did though because doing those different jobs loaded me up with a bunch of transferable skills that helped me figure out that I loved working in a newsroom.

Despite finding joy in something other than what I went to school for, I still hear things like this: “You went to school for psychology and that’s what you should be doing, Devinn. That’s what you need to be doing.”

And that’s a direct quote from someone who loves me.

Major wise, I never wavered from my interest in psychology and at this point, I doubt I will.

I’m not a cat trying to fit myself into a box, my interests are varied and that’s how majors tend to work – because of their intersectionality.

Because psychology is a diverse field, I want to be sure that if I go any further into it, I’d be doing something I’m not only interested in but also passionate about.

It’s more than OK to not be sure about what direction you’re going in because everything you experience is a lesson to take with you for the next one.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a remarkable woman who went to school for possibly six different things – from floral arrangement to pharmaceuticals – because there was something new she wanted to learn and go into. She told me that with each new skill under her belt, she was able to use it with the next thing.

That’s what I’m looking forward to – exploring all of my options and passions while seeing where they take me.