When I was applying to colleges, the first question I asked myself was, “What do you see yourself pursuing as a career?” This can be a daunting question, but it is absolutely necessary to think about. However, do not think it is the end of the world if, by the time you are in college, you are still uncertain what it is that you want to do with the rest of your life. This is not an easy decision, and as you decide, it is important to branch out and explore different options to find the best fit for you.
I came into Syracuse as an undecided Arts and Sciences student because I was just not sure what I wanted to do. I spoke to peer advisors and academic advisors to discuss different majors offered and career paths that interested me. By looking at the big picture and utilizing resources on campus, I was able to network and gain industry insight into certain careers that interested me. I attended guest speaker events, career fairs, involvement fairs, and visited the Career Services Center several times before committing to my current major.
During my freshman year, I also joined an organization called the Wellslink Leadership Program. It is a professional networking organization that assigns you a peer mentor for the year. This mentor is usually in a similar major or program as you. My peer mentor was in Newhouse and after speaking to her about my career outlook, I knew I wanted to be in Newhouse as well. College is the time and place to experiment and really get to know yourself. I knew I wanted to write because it is a passion of mine, but my strong interest in media propelled my decision to pursue public relations.
I was also advised to enroll in general education courses to help develop basic skills and fulfill core requirements. My freshman year, I took a course called CLS 105, College Learning Strategies, and it was one of the best classes I have ever taken. The class taught me about time management, leadership, teamwork, and strategic skills on studying by catering them to fit your personality type. As a result of this class, I am able to better grasp what works for me and what doesn’t–a skill that has been helpful to me thus far.
I also learned that being a worried, panicking freshman does not do much to help your situation. On the whole, don’t stress out too much about not knowing what major you want to pursue. Freshman year is your time to explore. You will soon realize that many students are in the same boat as you and you just need to take a deep breath, utilize all the resources that are available and be patient with yourself–there are so many opportunities and so many people willing to help, you can be sure that you will find your way.
Eric Chuang is a senior at Syracuse University studying Public Relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in English & Textual Studies. Additionally, he is part of the Fashion & Beauty Communications Milestone Program. Eric is a California native, dog enthusiast, fervent traveler, and sushi connoisseur. When not taking Buzzfeed quizzes or coming up with clever Instagram captions, he can most likely be found jamming to Taylor Swift’s “1989” album.