The Major Limbo


It is very hard for many people to choose their college major. Statistics show that 50%-70% of students change their majors at least once and most will change majors at least three times before they graduate. Numerous schools make it so that you must have a major in mind before you attend, or some even make it so you have to apply to the “school” that has your major in it. For me, it was very important to go to a school that had a broad yet focused education so that I was not just focusing on one thing, because I’d like to say that I think it would be pretty boring to take classes in only one field for four years or even more.

Liberal arts schools like Pomona make it so that you gain critical thinking skills that you can use across all fields. Even though I am a media studies major I have taken a math class, a psychology class, and other classes that I am able to connect to concepts I learn in my media studies classes. Next semester I have decided I am going to take a computer science class just to get some extra skills that I may be able to use for the future, and its okay because my school wants us to delve into different disciplines, they encourage it. I believe this to be the only way to truly find out what you want to do because taking different classes helps you see what you definitely don’t want to do and maybe help you find something you have an interest in although you never knew you had an interest in it.

Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to be a journalist and when I was looking to apply to schools, that was definitely a huge factor for me. Journalism/Media was my intended major and I have stuck with it just because I have a passion for the media and everything it has to offer. I was set on going to a really great journalism school like USC or Northwestern, but then I discovered Pomona. Not the best school for journalism, but very academically challenging and community centered–I fell in love. Sometimes I do have little tinges of regret about my decision of going to Pomona because of many of my friends in other journalism programs like USC and Mizzou, who have a big network behind them since they go to big universities. When I do have those tinges of doubt I quickly realize again and again that college is not just about what your major is. Yes it matters, but you are going to get a good education at any elite school you choose. At Pomona I am gaining knowledge from across disciplines and am having the true undergraduate experience.

So I say, yes, majors matter, but I wouldn’t get too caught up with it especially because as we grow, our interests tend to expand as well. I know that Pomona may have not been the best choice to go and study “journalism” per say, but I know the well-rounded person it is making me become will be much more useful in the future anyways. If you are still an underclassmen or even are just now applying to colleges, I advise that when you are in college you take classes that you would have never thought about taking because, in the long run, it will make a difference and you will be happy you did. We cannot limit our minds from gaining knowledge in only what we are interested in because that would be way too easy.

Ashley Land, Quest Scholar, Pomona ’16