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A MAJOR Decision to Find My Passion

Had I not gone through the hard times, I wouldn’t have ended up doing what I love.

By Nichole Wierzba, St Norbet College

Choosing my major was a rollercoaster ride. But after all the chaos, I know I’m in the right field.

Growing up, I remember wanting to be all kinds of things – a teacher, a doctor, a veterinarian, a lawyer, a forensic scientist, a writer – the sky was the limit. When it came time to go to college, I thought I had it all figured out. I always like to aim high, so when I went to orientation and met with my adviser to make a fall class schedule, I told him that I was going to do Pre-Med.

My adviser asked me why I wanted to do Pre-Med and I told him that I was always interested in the medical field and liked to help people and that’s about all I had to say. After asking me a few more questions, he said something I will always remember, “You don’t seem to be very passionate about it.” And my response was, “You know what? You’re right.” That should have been my first sign.

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So my first day of college rolled around. I took on a pretty heavy class load to get a head start on my Biology/Chemistry double major. I took    Biology, Chemistry, Pre Calculus, and Sociology – my elective. On top of the class load and adjusting to being on my own for the first time ever, I also was playing softball. With all of that together, I was in over my head.

Most of everything I had on my plate was going well, but Biology and Chemistry had me struggling. I was getting C’s in both classes. I was almost a 4.0 student in high school, so C’s were unacceptable. Not to mention, if my GPA dropped below a 3.0 I would lose scholarship money – the only thing keeping me in school. My Biology grade was pretty consistent at a C, but my Chemistry grade continued to drop. I knew that if it got any lower, I would have to drop the class.

I had a test coming up and I knew I had to do well. I studied for hours upon hours. A few days later, I got my test back. I got a D+. I was devastated. I called my mom crying and freaking out. My mind was racing. I’m going to fail this class. Failing will bring my GPA too low. I’m going to lose my scholarship. I’m going to have to transfer or drop out. What do I do? After a calming talk with both my parents and a big decision, I decided to drop Chemistry.

Dropping Chemistry left me two options. I could either try to retake Chemistry in the spring or I could completely change my major because that class was required for the major. That is when I remembered what my orientation adviser said to me. You don’t seem to be very passionate about it. So it was time to move on and find something I was passionate about.

I had no idea where to turn. I was talking with my dad about other majors. He majored in Communications in college and he said I should try it out and maybe I might like it. So I registered for an intro Communications class for the spring. I really enjoyed it so I registered for another intro Communications class for the next semester. I realized that I had always loved being around people and discussing with others, so it was no wonder that I was liking my Communications classes.

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My best friends from Freshman year, and we all have different majors!

After three internships in the field and some other career related experience, I know I’m doing the right thing for me. I also had time to add another major. Because I loved my sociology elective so much, I decided to declare my second major as Sociology. I don’t plan on getting a job in Sociology but it does compliment Communications nicely.

So after all the craziness that is declaring a major, I ended up with two that I think fit me great. I’m not sure that there is a better program for me. I am thankful that everything worked out the way it did in the end. Had I not gone through the hard times, I wouldn’t have ended up doing what I love.

As my senior year is just a short few weeks away, I know my future career is not too far down the road. I am excited to kick start my job. Right now, I am most interested in working in Public Relations or Higher Education Administration.

Nichole Wierzba

St. Norbert College | 3 stories

My name is Nichole Wierzba and I will be a senior in the fall of 2013 at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. I am double majoring in Communication & Media Studies and Sociology. I truly enjoy music – anything I can sing along with – and watching and playing sports. As a true Wisconsinite, I am a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan. So it’s perfect that Lambeau Field is about ten minutes from my campus! Oh and I love dogs. I love them so much that I acted like one all throughout kindergarten. People still make fun of me for it!

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