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  • Madison Brattoli, alumna, Kent Staet University

Dream Job, Next Exit

More than 50% of college students change their major while attending college, so why is the stigma still present? There is truly no "correct time" to change your major, or time period where it is “too late." As a college student, I changed my major three times until I found the career path that allowed me to pursue my passion.

Upon entering college, I thought I had my whole life figured out. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I realized I was not chasing a career path I knew I would enjoy. Over the winter break of my junior year, I was asked what my passion was. Without hesitation, I answered the question and stated, “music." After I responded to the question, I realized my intended career path had no connection to music. I had always held a passion for entertainment and wanted to have a career in the music industry one day. At the time, my dream seemed so far away; therefore, I chose a major that I knew would lead me to a guaranteed full-time job. Furthermore, I was scared of the challenges I would need to overcome to realize my dream.

While entering college, you assume you will complete your degree in exactly four years. Realizing you need to stay longer brings awkward conversations with family and friends. Watching my friends post pictures with their diplomas just after they graduated was frustrating, but changing my major was the most significant decision I had to make.

I completed multiple career tests and spoke to various employment experts. The term “public relations” kept popping up. I had heard of the field before but was unsure what it meant. Upon research, I realized that I could go into nearly any career field as a public relations major, including music. I also realized changing my major so late could be difficult, and I would be significantly behind my classmates. I told myself that I would never let the frustration get to me because, in the end, I would be pursuing a career I would love. After my realization, I called my scheduling advisor as soon as possible. She informed me that most of the introductory classes were filled, but that did not persuade me to change my mind. I eventually secured my classes.

As I entered these classes with mostly first-year students, I felt uneducated. I was surrounded by students who had just started their college careers, while I had completed almost three years of university courses.

Being proactive, I emailed every music venue in my city for internships and spoke to multiple industry professionals. I then realized my dream was not that far out of reach, and opportunities began to surround me.

Through my frustrating moments, I found clubs and organizations that helped me continue chasing my passion. I discovered students in the same situation as me, finding their passions late in their college careers. Through my experiences, I realized that changing your major in college is not uncommon. Through my new opportunities, it was clear how unhappy I would have been if I had stayed with my past majors. I realized that you must work for your happiness and not let frustrations impede you. In the end, your happiness is so much more important than anything else.

Since then, I have worked for multiple music festivals and have made hundreds of relevant industry connections. I graduated from Kent State University last December with a public relations degree and numerous music industry experiences.

Dreams are worth chasing and are never truly out of reach. No matter how far your career goal may seem, it is just around the corner if you make the effort required to achieve it.

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