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Post Column: Shifting Tides: Second thoughts hamper major decisions

It was a surprise to find out that all the friends I’d been making first semester had passions and interests that came out in the form of their major or what they were doing with their little amount of free time. Studying anything from photojournalism to psychology, one-by-one I watched as they got involved and had stories to tell of what they were doing.

All the while, I sat in my “future of media” class and grew to become irritated with every word said, written, or heard about the future of journalism. Learning about how many parts of the industry were failing or which newspapers were going out of business in prominent cities was less than inspiring, and I often caught myself questioning what I would bring to the field myself. The world is moving to an electronic beat, and any information you want to know about science, music and literature can all be found with a few clicks of the mouse.

Journalism is no different. With the part of me that wants to study and become a journalist slowly losing hold, it’s now an obsession to regain my identity with something that will motivate me and fill that void.

Being here helps though, as it makes me aspire to be passionate. I want to become a part of something that I can one day make a life out of, but everything I do either feels overwhelming or uninteresting. I still feel this intense urge to create and do something during college as opposed to just reading and taking notes on new definitions and philosophies.

During weekends, I fill that urge by interacting with “social” drinkers and talking about subjects on a deeper level with close friends. Out of all the fun this creates for me, at the same time it fills my head with new questions and other interests that I tell myself I should pursue but then end up returning back to whatever I was doing a couple of hours later. I suppose what I’m inching toward figuring out is whether this need to be interested in something and declare a major within my first year stems from internal or external influences.

The internal: that voice in my head that’s saying to study any subject that brings a change in thought; the one saying to do whatever pleases me, because college is time for self-growth. But then the external comes into play: the voices surrounding me that paint the picture of the future; the things I observe taking place around me that make other people more educated and efficient. The balance between giving and taking advice from both parties is off. And with that, freshman year is born.

A panicked newsroom hazed with smoke, trench coats and rumors is the work setting I’ve always pictured for myself, and that would be accurate if the year were 1945. But today, it’s vital to pay attention to any changes in desires and avoid wanting and doing things for the wrong reasons. One day I’ll find my niche, but this feeling of wanting to rush to get to a place in my college career where I can feel comfortable and motivated in still pervades. A note on my desk reminds me to be in the present moment as I remain waiting for the phrase to take hold.

Garrett Lemery is a freshman studying communications at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. How did you choose a major? Email Garrett at


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