The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Changing majors: junior realizes journalism isn’t for him

I was finishing the fall of my junior year here at UW-Eau Claire and well on my way to becoming the next Katie Couric, or so I had people fooled into thinking. Since my senior year of high school I thought it would be so cool to sit behind a news desk with Diana Pierce on KARE 11, read from a Teleprompter and then have our post-news banter with the meteorologist.

I enrolled at Eau Claire in the Communication and Journalism department with the expectation I could go anywhere. I mean I was cute, I had a little spunk and people always tell me I talk too much. I thought those were perfect qualifications for someone interested in having a morning talk show. Then I actually started taking classes. I thought it was because I needed to get a “feel” for classes and college life that I didn’t do so well the first semester, or first year for that matter.

I gave my sophomore year another chance. I tried to work hard in my classes, but they were uninteresting to me. I basically did what I had to do to get by. I hated doing stories for one of my classes because I felt like I was bugging people. I always managed to stutter or screw up my words when I was trying to ask “meaningful” questions. I was faced with the reality that reporting wasn’t just getting my makeup done and sitting in front of a camera as I read off a story someone else wrote. It actually took a little work, work I wasn’t cut out to do.

At this point most people would see red flags going up, but I think mine were busted so I proceeded to move on into my junior year. I was enrolled in a technical writing class because it was this very beneficial minor I was going to pursue.

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I was even more unmotivated to be in that class, but thankfully my professor and I had a little meeting about a paper I was writing and we hit something in my life. He asked me why I was going into journalism and I just sat there with a blank look on my face.ummmm..because I like to talk. Ummmm, because I like television. It was horrible! He asked me if that’s what I really wanted to do. It was as though I was looking at my life from a different angle because no, I didn’t like journalism! I didn’t like being assertive and asking questions about peoples’ lives! I didn’t like writing leads to stories! And I hated reading the newspaper!

Congratulations to me. I figured out I didn’t like my major, along with most of the university population. Unfortunately, this epiphany came about the same time I was analyzing everything about my life. I think at some point in a college career it will happen, and mine was now. I felt so fat, stupid and didn’t know why I was in college, and most of all I was convinced that nobody liked me. It was really pathetic, but I picked myself up and decided to do some changing.

I got myself a membership to work out, lost a little weight and I realized that people did like me. But there was something missing for about a month before I came home for Christmas. Oh yeah, I hated my major!

I knew what I wanted to be and an anchorwoman wasn’t it. I loved volunteering with the children’s group at the local women’s shelter. I loved baby-sitting. I loved being with kids and I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I knew what I had wanted to do all along. It was just a matter of seeing it for myself.

How do you get your parents to see it the same way especially halfway through your junior year? So I practiced on my roommates and they looked at me with blank faces and said, obviously, we were wondering when you were going to see it, too. I moved onto a bigger obstacle with my sister and she said the same thing.

The day I came home for Christmas vacation my parents and I were sitting in the kitchen, I looked at them and said, “I’m pregnant. Just kidding, I want to change my major.” I thought that might cushion the blow a little, but instead they just looked up at me and said, “You want to be a teacher, don’t you?”

How do you miss the boat on your own life? I can’t tell you the relief I had when my parents told me I should do what makes me happy and they knew I would if I was a teacher. Unfortunately, they aren’t as crazy about paying tuition until the spring of 2005. I know it’s a long road ahead of me and I will have to give my all for the next three and a half years, but it will be worth it.

I never thought I would say this but I actually like school and I even read my books! My point is this – college is not a four-year program anymore. Do what makes you happy, even if it means being the only senior in a 100-level art class.

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Changing majors: junior realizes journalism isn’t for him