Monday, September 12, 2016

Natalie's Journey as a Deciding Major

When I first came to UNI as a freshman, I was incredibly unsure of what I felt I was supposed to be doing, and even unsure of what I wanted to be doing. These unanswered questions weighed on me so heavily that on the day of my summer orientation, I switched from the group of students who had declared as English majors and instead, joined the group of deciding majors. At the time, I didn’t have a strong reason for choosing to be a deciding major, however, now when I look back on the choice to not declare a major as an incoming freshman, I realize that it was one of the best choices I could have made. I would recommend it to any freshman student.

Being a deciding major, especially in my freshman year, allowed me to experience so many things that I might not have otherwise had the opportunity to.  I lived in Bender Hall last year, a building composed primarily of freshmen and deciding students, so it was a perfect fit for me even before I knew it. In Bender, I was able to become a part of the Exploring Living Learning Community, or the ELLC, a program that encourages students to explore different options for careers, majors, and minors.

Being in this group gave me confidence to continue in my search for the perfect major, a major that would challenge me, one that I enjoyed and one that I could see myself carrying out in my future. In combination with this group to help me find and decide on a major was the advisor I was assigned after switching to a deciding major, Heather Asmus. It was with her help that I was able to take my time exploring my options, but also keep English as a part of my schedule and a part of my life.  

In my first year as a student at UNI, with the few English classes that I took, I felt a renewed sense of confidence in my pursuit of an English degree. After deliberating over the summer whether or not to declare, I came back, and in the second week of my sophomore year, finally declared my major. It was still a nerve wracking process, but afterwards, the excitement and relief I felt was more than enough to assure me that I had made the correct choice.

White Alphabet DiceI can say now that English is my dream major- it offers me the classes I always enjoy the most from the semester, the ones that I feel resonate with me on a deeper level, and also the ones that continue to challenge me in exciting ways. I hope that all of you students, whether deciding or not, have or will find your dream major, and will allow the resources here on campus and your passion help you along the way.

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