I didn’t have a hard time picking what I wanted to do in college. I knew I wanted to write in someway. I knew that I wanted to tell stories and get to know the people behind those stories. While my plans of being a broadcast journalist changed into that of public relations and marketing, my love for writing and stories never faded. I did, however, have a difficult time picking what to minor in. In fact, I actually still don’t have a minor, but will instead graduate with the specialization requirement for Scripps. Nonetheless, figuring out what I wanted to specialize in was a difficult thing for me to do.
I didn’t want to do history; the history classes I took held my attention for maybe three days max. I thought about retail and merchandising, specifically catered to the beauty industry, but realized I don’t like posting videos of myself doing my makeup or skin care routine at all, and that’s a lot of what those in the beauty industry do. I also didn’t want to specialize in marketing. I took one marketing class, and that was enough for me. The material I learned was great, but walking into the business building on campus low-key gives me anxiety, and I just couldn’t see myself really investing time into that.
I could see investing myself into something health related as it is broad and wide. My mom is a respiratory therapist, my older sister is a nurse and my younger sister is studying to become a dental hygienist. Health related work had always interested me, but I never wanted to do anything hands on. I thought back to the summer between my first and second year when I worked at an Autism non-profit in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I had the time of my life working in an area related to the care of an individual and trying to make their needs known to the greater population. I researched and spoke with several people trying to figure out what I was going to do when I got back to Athens because time was ticking for me to make a decision. I found Community and Public Health within the College of Health Sciences and Professionals at OHIO. It seemed PERFECT! It is PERFECT! Through this specialization, I’ve been able to learn about a variety of health issues. I’ve learned how to understand why individuals make the choices they make when it comes to their health. I’ve learned how to assess a population and implement change through programs. I’ve learned how to tell stories for those who may not be able to, and I love it.
I love that the path I chose to take is not the same as that of my peers. I love knowing that my specialization can make me marketable to a wide variety of employers. I love that I got to know more people outside my major and outside of Scripps; they are passionate, caring people who truly want the best outcomes, health and life related, for everyone. This specialization has really shaped what I want to do with my life, and it has allowed me to plan for the future. I would like to go back to school at some point and actually get my Masters of Public Health (MPH) or Masters of Public Affairs (MPA) so that I am able to work with non-profit organizations. How cool would that be?
College is cool. You can do what you want, and you don’t have to justify it to anyone but yourself. There is so much to minor in besides Marketing and Social Media. You don’t have to minor in Marketing because your friends are, or because you think it’d just be better to take classes with them so that the classes seem easier and more bearable. You can step outside of your comfort zone. You can meet new people. You can be happy for yourself.
Kayla McNeal is a Senior Journalism: Strategic Communication major and can be found on Twitter @_kaylamcneal.