It can seem daunting as an 18 year old, the idea of choosing a major that will eventually be your career for the rest of your life. Or perhaps you were like me when you were 18, so sure of yourself and so 100% committed to the idea of one career path and you thought there was no way you were ever going to do anything else but that.
In high school I excelled academically, just as I had done in all my classes growing up. I never had to study for more than maybe an hour before a test, even when I got to the AP courses like calculus and biology. I graduated with almost a 4.9 GPA and school was a cakewalk for me. Unfortunately, while this bolstered my confidence in school, it did nothing to hone my studying skills.
When I started at OSU I was a biology major in the honors program on the pre-dentistry track. Why dentistry? Honestly I have no idea. I think because I did well in school I wanted to aim for a difficult profession. But the fact that seeing someone spit makes me nauseous should have been a big red flag that being a dentist was not a good idea for me 😛
My first quarter of classes began and I took the same approach to them as I had in high school which was pretty much: do nothing. My first chemistry midterm I took I remember studying my notes 30 minutes before the exam, and I hadn’t done a single homework program the entire quarter. Needless to say I did horribly.
The next year or so was spent struggling and trying to salvage my destroyed GPA after my abysmal first quarter. Eventually I did cultivate some GREAT studying habits and “tricks” but I had realized that with my GPA there was no way in h-e-double hockey sticks that I was going to be able to get into dental school. Also, I knew that biology was not my passion so I needed to pick a new major. I started thinking about dropping out of Ohio State and applying to nursing school at the local community college so I signed up for a few pre-reqs that were required for their program. One of those classes was an intro to nutrition course for medical professionals.
I. Fell. In. Love. Every day that I went to that class I was mesmerized. It was the first course I took in college that actually captivated my attention and the first textbook I had that I found myself looking forward to getting home and reading it! Nutrition impacts every single person on this earth and with the current obesity epidemic, the implications of the subject are growing exponentially! I knew that I had to learn more. I didn’t even know what a registered dietitian was (or that it was different from calling yourself a nutritionist) but after some googling and a little research through Ohio State’s majors websites I realized that that was my career path.
My path isn’t the traditional one since I didn’t get into OSU’s dietetics program and had to go back to school to make my dream become a reality, but I think that it has helped me grow as a person. It also has allowed me the chance to work full time as a college graduate and exposed me to a whole world of food science that I didn’t even know existed. My experience as a microbiologist is making me more well-rounded and improved my laboratory techniques which will help me if I ever decide to go into the research side of dietetics.
The moral of my story is this: Don’t feel like you have to stick with your declared major in college. I didn’t change my major until I was a JUNIOR and I still managed to graduate on time!! Choose a major that you absolutely love that will lead you to a career that will make you happy and college will be a lot less stressful and much more enjoyable for you 🙂