Enrolling As An Undecided Student

by Vanessa Arieno on September 19, 2016

Hello, new and returning Purple Eagles! Hopefully, everyone’s semester has been awesome so far.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a junior here at NU. After two years of being undecided, I have successfully chosen to major in communication studies and minor in writing – and I couldn’t be happier.

My entire process of how I decided on my major is what I want to focus on in my first post. Coming to Niagara as a shy but open-minded freshman, I was terrified at the thought of picking a major to best suit which career I wished to pursue after graduation.

From an early point in my life, I was passionate about animals, my faith, writing, traveling, fashion and helping the less fortunate. So when it came to deciding on a major, I studied classes from social work and developmental disabilities to hospitality and tourism management.

As my semesters carried on, I decided that those weren’t careers I could see myself enjoying for the rest of my life. Being able to take a variety of classes and have two years after you enroll to figure it out is what makes NU so great. Most colleges aren’t as lenient with those students who do enroll without declaring a major.

Before I realized communications and writing were my passions, I figured I’d eventually end up in event planning. It wasn’t until my final portfolio project for a hospitality and tourism management course that I realized I was in the wrong career field. This project required an interview with a professor on campus. As I sat in my professor’s office with my notebook and pencil, listening to her answers, I realized that learning about what she was doing at that time in her life was satisfying for me. I wanted to learn and write about people!

Everything in my brain clicked. As cliché as it sounds, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to learn about other people, other cultures and what’s going on in the world – and I wanted to write about it. Once the interview was finished, the first thing I did was call my parents (believe it or not) to tell them what had just happened.

I quickly emailed my advisor, Carolyn Makey, to tell her. She was thrilled for me and we scheduled an appointment immediately to talk about the next step. Carolyn played a vital role throughout my decision-making process during the two years I was figuring it out. It was awesome to have her to confide in, considering all of the going back and forth that was occurring in my mind before deciding on a major.

Being from Rochester, I didn’t have my parents close by to talk to all the time. Having an advisor who was invested in helping me decide on what I wanted to do as a career was a priceless experience. After realizing how excited I was, I started my own blog (vivacioushearts.com) later in the week.

Although I finally realized what I wanted to do after graduation, my life was still a bit of a mess (hey, I was a sophomore!). I decided to write a blog about my life and my experiences throughout college. Since that final project for my hospitality and tourism management class, I have only become more and more excited about my major and minor.

For those of you who have no clue what you want to do after graduation, take advantage of what Niagara University has to offer. Build a relationship with your advisor; let them know your interests, take all the classes that draw your attention, be honest when you’re no longer interested in a field, and tell them if you are having trouble and stressing out.

Your advisors are there for you and they want to see you succeed. At the end of the day, this is their job. Good luck, take care and enjoy being a Purple Eagle!