When I made the transition from middle school to high school, I was faced with a choice – I could overpack my freshman year schedule trying to take too many electives, or take it easy for my first year. I thought I was wise in dropping choir from my schedule, but I ended up miserable without a chance to sing. By sophomore year, I was back in choir robes, a little busier than before but a little happier, too. When I graduated high school, I found myself facing a similar choice. I knew I was going to have to focus my studies, which meant forgoing a lot of classes I was used to. I was happy to see Calculus go, but other loves – music, languages, debate – seemed like a huge loss.
When I got on campus my freshman year, I just happened to run into one of my older sister’s friends, who just happened to mention that she was on her way to choir tryouts. “Aren’t you a speech and hearing science major?” I asked, and yes, she was. But I learned that day that university choirs were open to people of all majors. It was a huge relief to me, and I quickly found that, with a little digging, it’s actually pretty easy to do what you love in college.
5 Ways to Do What You Love in College
This is probably the most obvious answer, but if you love something, maybe it’s a good major for you. Take it from an English major – it’s really rewarding to continue studying something you love. Especially as an undergraduate, you need to understand that (in most cases) your major is not sealing you into a single career path for life. If you really love a subject, there’s no reason to let anyone force you to give it up.
If you have many loves, majoring in all of them isn’t always an option. But minors are a great way to get a certification for all the hours you spend in those classes. I actually have two minors – linguistics and informatics. One is a love affair, the other is practical. Minors are a great way to gain expertise in fields you love, but might not work in.
Through the School
The great thing about colleges is the incredible wealth of resources, right at your fingertips. I’m not a music major, but I’m still in a university choir. If you’d like to be involved in something at your school, even if it’s not part of your program of study, there’s always a way – start emailing professors, looking for opportunities. Professors love passionate people, regardless of their major.
If what you love isn’t very school-related, you might have to look to your fellow students to continue with it. The larger your school is, the more likely someone else has already formed a student organization dedicated to your pursuit of choice, but if not, consider creating your own. Running a student organization might seem like a huge commitment, but with the right team, it lets you pursue something you love with very little restriction.
On your Own
Case in point: I love to write. I made a blog. And it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. While it may not always feel like it, you actually have a ton of free time while you’re in college, and if you can’t major or minor in something you love, and both your school and its students are failing to provide it, go after it yourself! There really are no limits on how far you can take something you’re passionate about.
I’ve actually done each and every one of these things – majoring in English, minoring in Linguistics, singing in a choir from the school of music, running a student debate team, and blogging. And let me tell you, my time management is actually terrible. So if you’re worried about losing a connection to something important, take heart. Even if you’re busy and scatterbrained, if you care enough about what you want to do, you can find a way to do it.
What’s one thing you wish you had more time for?