Combatting the Pressure of Choosing

Brittany Shannon, currently declared marketing and business management major from Clinton, Arkansas, has taken her time in choosing what major will best benefit her in the long run.

Notwithstanding, she points out how difficult reaching a conclusion has been, as we are constantly plagued with asking ourselves, as Brittany put it, “how am I supposed to go through four years of studying and classes for something I am not sure I will even want to do when I graduate?”

“Choosing a major has honestly been the hardest thing I have had to do while being in college. I have never been sure about anything that I have chosen. I am interested in doing so many things with my life and that is something that has made it more challenging,” Brittany said.

There is often so much pressure, whether it be from external forces or self-inflicted, that surrounds not only the choice of a major, but also the completion of it in four years. Deciding what we want to do for the rest of our lives is not something that should be limited to a decision we make at the beginning of a four-year chapter of our lives that ignites so much change.

Brittany has tried out several of the majors that ATU has to offer including: pre-med chemistry because she thought about being a chiropractor but realized she didn’t want to be in school that long; accounting because she’s good at math; math education; back to accounting, thinking about the money; nursing but she is not ready to invest in that; then she finally landed in marketing.

“I ultimately decided on marketing and business management because I really did like the aspect of business. I simply just did not enjoy accounting. I can see myself being happy in the future with this occupation and that is the end goal, to be happy. I do not wish to have an occupation that I hate going to every single day,” Brittany said.

Understanding that sometimes life takes us in directions that don’t always align with what we choose to major in, Brittany said “who knows if I will even get a job with this degree in the future. My goal is to end up working for a sports team and I can easily do that with this degree.”

“Something I wish I would have done freshman year is just go into general studies. I was unsure what I wanted to do from the get-go. If I would have went into general studies, I would have been able to decide easier without changing my major five times to get there,” said Brittany.

Nonetheless, she has received great advice along the way and understands that the path that she is on has been the right one for the trajectory of her life. “Some advice that helped me came from Payton Youngblood. I came in at the beginning of the year talking about how much I was going to hate accounting and she really only asked me when I was going to change my major to something I would enjoy. That put things into perspective for me. I was going into that field solely for the fact that I would be making a lot of money,” she said.

Despite having to come to grips with the adjustment and reevaluate what she honestly values and wants out of life, Brittany said that “this experience has allowed me to learn what makes me happy. Helping others, talking to people, working towards a goal to bring people in, all of that makes me happy.”

Choosing a major can be a big decision, but it has been important for her to remember that this decision is not the only important one that she will make in her life.

“My advice to others is to do something that is going to bring you joy. Do not go into something just because you are going to make a lot of money or because your parents want you to do it. Your parents will not be going to your job every day. That will be you. Make sure it’s something that you will enjoy,” she said.