Thursday, April 11, 2013


Before you read this post I just want to apologize for my rambling and poor writing.  I know I change verb tenses and much of what I say probably makes no sense.

Choosing the right college is one of the most challenging things.  At the age of 18 who really knows what the best choice is.  At the time you may think the school you choose is best for what you think you want to do, but sometimes you change your mind about what you want to do.  Today I am going to tell you a story.  The school I am currently at is the only one I applied to when I was a senior in high school. Sure, I had toured about seven other schools, but this was the one for me I thought.  I originally wanted to major in biology and obtain a minor in secondary education.  This school would have been great for that because I could play field hockey (Division III) and they have a magnificent biology program.  

I came to this school in August 2012, a week earlier than the rest of campus, filled with excitement in anticipation of the next four years I would be spending here. Being a Fall athlete means that you have to come early for preseason.  I was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect.  As that week went on the freshman class moved in for orientation and I was able to meet my roommate!  Playing a fall sport helped me acclimate to college life rather quickly.  After all, I was practically given 21 friends the day I moved in.  Within the first several weeks of classes, I quickly became overwhelmed with the pace of the biology class and I decided to drop the class.  I did this in fear of getting a poor grade.  At the time I didn't know the option to withdrawal later in the semester existed. Looking back, I wish I would have stayed in the class to give it a longer chance and then withdrew later on if needed.  I'm not really sure now if I dropped this class because it was difficult, I was intimidated, or the work load combined with being in season. 

Dropping this class meant that biology would no longer be my what? Well, I was loving my intro to sociology class and considered this as a new major.  However, the jobs available with this major are limited or were not of interest to me.  So I did some serious thinking and researching about jobs, majors, and career paths.  I finally figured it out.. elementary education!  I have always wanted to be a teacher and then I would discover something new that changed my mind for a short period of time, but education was something that I have consistently gone back to when considering a major.  This makes sense because it is similar to my original plan of action just different aged students. 

Great now that I had my major figured out I decided to take an education class second semester.  So far, this has been my favorite class. Well, at the beginning of this semester there was a meeting for freshman looking to pursue elementary education so naturally I attended.  After asking the department head numerous questions I was quickly beginning to realize this school does not have the best elementary education department for me personally.  

Reason #1: Going to school in Maryland would mean that I would be certified grades 1-6 in Maryland.  I would most likely get a job after college in this rural county that my school is in.  Yes that's great that I would have a job, but staying here in Maryland is not what I want.  There are no universities close to this area where I could obtain my masters degree, which would not be okay if I wanted to keep my salary increasing in the future.

Reason #2: The Maryland certification isn't accepted in Pennsylvania.  This is where I am from and where I want to teach post graduation from this college.  Well that is an issue.  

Reason #3:  Graduating from her and teaching in Maryland would be I would be living here.  I would be getting a low salary to live off of. I would be paying high loans from college, gas money, car loans, groceries, an apartment utilities, etc.  This was by no means enticing to me.

Reason #4: This school does not offer special education.  Most states require teachers to be certified in special education in addition to elementary education when teaching the lower grades.  

Reason #5: This school technically doesn't have an elementary education major, it is called a human development major.  So you are a human development major who goes through the teacher certification process, and you must obtain at least one minor.  When telling people you are a human development major teaching is not what comes to mind.

That was the basic reasoning behind why the program here was not the best fit for me. 
 Well this meant two things either change my major or transfer.  I was pretty set on becoming a teacher, so changing my major was pretty much out of the question.  This means transferring.  This choice was not an easy one but with the help of my mom I did a significant amount of research to reach this decision.  We called the PA state department of education, principals, Human resources at numerous school districts, the department of education at my current college, and several others.  I decided that I needed to go to a school in PA.  The state schools in PA are well known for their education programs, so it makes the most sense to attend one of them.  During my spring break we toured two schools, and I applied to three schools.  

 During this process, I only told my roommate.  Nobody else at my college knew I was transferring. I finally told my field hockey coach the day I came back from spring break. It was really tough, I cried.  Transferring meant no spring season for me.  After telling my coach, I sent my team a long email and I told several other of my friends on campus. My team has been very supportive of me transferring, which makes the process a little bit easier knowing that they have my back.  Going to college with only 1,500 students word spreads fast.  Within a week just about everybody knew I was leaving.  It was kind of nice because I no longer had to hide this big secret or lie when people asked me what classes or where I'm living next year.

I have heard back from one school, and I am waiting to hear back from the other two.  I hate waiting the longer it takes the more anxious I become. I have no idea where I will be this time next year or who I will be living with, so weird to think about.  

This process has made this semester very overwhelming for me.  Making these decisions impact so much of life.  I think this is what is going to be best for me and I just have to make the most of my time left here.

What is meant to be will be.  Everything happens for a reason.



  1. It's good that you figured this out early. So many people find themselves in this situation after two or three years and then feel stuck. I'm happy for you in your decision, and I hope it all works out for the best!

  2. i'm glad you figured out what is going to be best for you and early. my boyfriend decided 3 1/2 years into college to switch his major. so he's still going to school and honestly doesn't really like the major he has now either.

  3. Lol! When I started to study to get a degree as a high school teacher with English and biology as my subjects (in Germany you have two) in 2008all I wanted to do was drop biology. It stayed that way for the last 4,5 years. Today, I had my very last exam. If this was a good decision the future will tell.

  4. Your reasons for wanting to switch are for all the right reasons. As a fellow teaching student I think you made the right decision! It's so important to go to school in the area you want to teach in!

  5. It takes a lot of courage to make a big change like the one you're making. It might be a little nerve-racking right now, but it will be SO worth it in the future! xo!

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    Deepa Gurnani Giveaway

  6. I'm glad you figured this out early! You are going to love this major. It is such a rewarding job. Good luck!

  7. Looking through your blog I just realized I went to college where you do! (Amazing considering the fact that it's teeny tiny). I was originally a Bio major and ultimately became a Bio minor but can completely commiserate on how challenging the courses are. After working harder than I ever could have imagined, to accomplish graduating with my minor, I'm not even working in that field. I wouldn't take back any of it, I truly loved everything I learned and had some of the greatest teachers of my life there, but with that said, I also missed out on a lot. And if I had to do it all over again I'm not sure I would choose the same path. Basically I want to tell you I think you made the right decision. I know all of these choices are scary but ultimately following your heart is the key. I'm currently a preschool teacher, I don't think this will be my career, but I've loved every minute of it. You will love teaching, it's honestly the most fulfilling thing. Best of luck to you at your new school!