Not sure what to major in? That's OK! Below are stories of two Pumas who are finding their way.
Ryan Murray (Downers Grove, Illinois)
Ryan Murray loves baseball. He played baseball during all four years of high school and was recruited by SJC to play at the college level. So when it came time to declare a major, he chose one related to sports. "The idea of studying Physical Therapy and becoming an athletic trainer after college was one I really liked. I'd been injured a few times and my trainers really helped me get through that," he said. "I also liked Anatomy and learning more about the human body." He enrolled in classes as a Biology-Chemistry major - the best program for a future athletic trainer.
However, it only took a week or two for Ryan to learn he wasn't enjoying his Biology classes. When he wasn't at practice, he was hard at work studying in order to get a better handle on the material. By the time mid-terms rolled around, he changed his status to Undeclared and decided to broaden his search. This semester, he's registered in a Political Science class, one of his favorite subjects in high school. "I always loved the discussions we had in class," he said. "It's interesting how different people can look at one issue in so many different ways."
Ryan's not abandoning his hope of becoming an athletic trainer. Outside the classroom, he's spoken with his Biology professor about his concerns, and he's even signed up for another Biology class so that, if he switches back to Biology-Chemistry, he'll be on track to graduate in four years. He's just doing it under a label (Undeclared) he feels more at ease with. "At first, the idea of not declaring a major was intimidating, but everyone's been really easy to talk to and great to work with," he said. "Now I know that it's OK to experiment and try new things. Better now than later."
Katie Cameron (Homewood, Illinois)
As a senior in high school, Katie Cameron was undecided on where to attend college. However, that doesn't mean she didn't know what she was looking for. "I wanted a smaller school that wasn't too far away from home," she explained. "I wanted to be on a campus where I could feel comfortable and safe." She looked into SJC at the recommendation of her guidance counselor, and by the end of her first visit, she knew it was a place she could call home.
Choosing a major, though, was another story. Katie enrolled into classes as a Business Administration major but wasn't sure she made the right decision. "I didn't know much about the program, but I have family members who are successful in that field. I knew that you could do just about anything with that degree," she said. "As I became more informed about it, though, I realized it wasn't for me."
Katie kept her Business classes but changed her status to Undeclared in order to explore her options. She began meeting once a week with the Director of Educational Support Services to discuss which program would best match the interests she already had. It was through one of these meetings that she discovered her love for the social sciences (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Social Work). "I was talking to [the Director] about a paper I was writing that focused on gender stereotypes. I was really passionate about it, and she suggested I consider Psychology or Sociology as a major," she said. "I'd always liked those classes in high school but wasn't sure they could lead me to a good career."
Katie's not ready to change her Undeclared status just yet. She plans on visiting the Career Development Center to read about different options available for social science majors after graduation. No matter what her decision, though, it will definitely be an informed one. "I don't want to go to work every day in a job I hate. I don't want to spend all of this money on college and then realize I made a bad choice," she said. "No matter what I'm doing, I want to be happy."