The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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How I Chose The Right Major for Me

Torch Photo/Spencer Clinton
Students and their family members enjoying Family Weekend in Fall of 2017.

I’ve always thought of myself as a risk taker. I love trying new things, exploring new places and seeing where new paths may take me. So when it came time to choose my major, it’s no surprise that I took the same approach.                                                                                                                           

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with reading. I started reading at a relatively early age, and it seemed that once I picked up the skill, all that I wanted to do was read.

As a child, my hometown library, Freeport Memorial Library, was my happy place, Scholastic Book Fair Days were my favorite days of the school year and Barnes and Noble was as close to heaven on earth that I ever thought I’d get.

As I grew older, this obsession with reading and books in general inspired an interest in the English language.

I wanted to know how these words were formulated and what determined their meanings.

So, in seventh grade, I began to study Latin to understand the origins of some of the words that I read daily.

In high school, I started to write and edit for the school newspaper. Not only did I get to read the works of my peers, which was a new experience for me, but I also got to help them perfect their articles and express themselves through language.

Then came junior year. My parents told me that it was time to get serious and think about what I wanted to do with my life.

My guidance counselor told me that I should probably start taking some standardized tests. Everyone else was telling me the same thing: Do whatever makes you happy (and makes you the most money).

   So, I put my on Big Girl Pants and had a serious conversation… with myself.

Well, what does make me happy? What career paths will lead me to happiness? I like the library but, according to Google, becoming a librarian is a lot harder than I thought and would require a lot more effort than I would want to put in. I like Latin, but only because I’m learning more about the English words that derive from Latin words.

I love the newspaper, but I don’t think I could ever truly be happy as a journalist because I like editing more than I like writing. No matter what path I tried to explore, my mind always drifted towards reading, editing and language.

When choosing a major, I think it’s important not to fear turning what you love into a career because I believe that it’s that love that will keep you passionate about your career.    

Although I run the risk that comes with turning something you love into work, I couldn’t see my career not being deeply rooted in English studies.

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About the Contributor
Dana Livingston
Dana Livingston, Chief Copy Editor
Dana, a senior English major, joined the Torch during her sophomore year. She previously held the title of Assistant Outreach Manager (which is now our Humans Resources position) and she is serving as the Chief Copy Editor this year. Her goal is to create a larger and more productive copy editing network for the publication. Dana also knows every single word of every song released by “The 1975,” the English pop rock band!   You can reach Dana at [email protected].  
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