When I started my first year at Northwestern, I had no clue what I was going to major in, what I wanted to do for a career, and, in general, what my future would look like. I came in as undecided, like the majority of first years do, mostly because Weinberg (our College of Arts & Sciences) offered so many majors I didn’t know which one to choose. I thought that I’d get a better sense of what I wanted to study after my first quarter, but at the end of the fall, I was only more confused.
At first, I thought I’d possibly major in psychology, but after taking a developmental psychology class, I couldn’t picture my future self having a career in psychology. Feeling defeated and rather lost, I called my parents for advice. Both of my parents suggested visiting the Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) office; their main purpose was helping students figure out their futures, so they figured I should go. I was reluctant at first, but overall I’m really glad I made the choice to visit their office. I met with the same adviser over the span of a month or so. I told her about my goals and aspirations, my interests, my hobbies, and much more. She also gave me interests tests to see which majors would be best for me.
I ultimately enrolled in Multimedia Storytelling, a class in our Medill School of Journalism, to test the journalism “waters.” I ended up really enjoying the class! I had an amazing professor, Michael Deas, and I made some of my closest friends in that class. I decided to take another journalism class in the spring, and it increased my growing interest.
The class I took in the spring was on multimedia journalism. My favorite part of the class was that I was able to go into Chicago and find people and stories to cover. I had never done anything like that in high school, and it was amazing! At the end of the quarter, my professor took the class to the ABC 7 studio in Chicago. We were able to get a tour of the station and talk to employees. In fact, one of them was a Northwestern alum, and he even helped us get to briefly be on TV!
If I had never reached out and asked for help, I would have never found journalism or had a chance to do any of these things. I encourage all incoming first years and even current Wildcats to go to NCA. Again, over half of first-year students come into Northwestern with “Undecided” as their “major,” and that’s completely okay! There’s time to figure these things out and find and pursue your passions. Northwestern has all of the resources to help you find your passions!