By Julia S. | April 30, 2012
So I’m going to be overtly honest with you. First, because I promised to, and second, because this is a big part of my Ohio State life that I want to address.
I’m changing my career path entirely.
I’m still a Spanish major. But I’m not going to continue studying French anymore after this quarter and I won’t be going into interpreting.
It started when I met with my Spanish advisor last week. We talked over some scheduling stuff, and then I decided to ask her something I’d been meaning to for a while: “Is there anyone in the Spanish department I could talk to about a career in interpreting?”
She shook her head and then explained that, because I grew up monolingual, a career in interpreting would be almost impossible for me, since many employers will opt for truly bilingual speakers (those who have had their second language since birth).
At this point you’re probably thinking one of two things: Either, “Not true! That’s harsh!” or “She’s right,” if you are familiar with how hard interpreting can be even if you know another language quite well.
But here’s the thing—I really appreciated my advisor for telling me this. First of all, and most importantly, the conversation didn’t end there; she continued to talk to me about a lot of different opportunities for my major and resources I could explore in order to figure out what I want to do (Starting with the Foreign Language Center page). She was just being candid and giving her honest opinion based on her experiences with students over the years.
I’d also like to point out that I’m not leaving interpreting solely because of what she said—I know I could grit my teeth, push myself into interpreting anyway, and find a way to make it work.
But ever since I’ve come to OSU, when I think about my future, I actually don’t often think about interpretation and translation—mostly because it gave me a headache to try and discern what my next moves would be, between grad school, more time travelling abroad, certifications, etc—I really was kind of lost. That’s not to say I still don’t love the field. I love languages and plan to continue studying them long after I leave Ohio State—but as for my career, my life is just starting to shift.
So what is it I have in mind then, if I just walked away from my career path? Well, I’m very relieved and content to say that my second major will be in the Allied Medical Professions, or as OSU calls it now, Heath & Rehabilitation Sciences (HRS).
I’ve always loved anything medical, but after a certain point in high school I stopped considering it as a major because I figured it would be too much math and science for a language-artsy person like me. But I was very surprised that I’m only going to be adding a few more general science (and zero math) classes to my curriculum in order to pursue a Bachelor of Science in allied med. After a quick phone call to the HRS office, I’m signed up for a major orientation session to narrow down what exact major I’d like, and after speaking to my arts and sciences advisor, she showed me how to best factor in my science classes to my current curriculum proposal.
So, to the future Ohio State Class of 2016 (and beyond), this is what I want to say to you:
It is okay to change your mind, and don’t ever think, “I don’t like my major, but it’s too late to change now.” Until you’re walking in Ohio Stadium for graduation, it’s not too late (and really not even then—my mother went back to school as a middle-aged adult with two kids and got a Master’s degree in Library Science after getting her Business degree in undergrad when she was 21). I remember coming into college thinking that there was no way I was going to change my mind—I had figured out the perfect path. And maybe I was right. But as your first year (and subsequent years) at college go on, you’ll change a bit, and so will your interests. What is perfect for you right now might not be so in a month or two. So cut yourself some slack, get excited for the 100+ majors OSU offers, and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that whatever happens, it’s all right here, no matter how confident or capricious you feel about what major(s) you’re choosing. This is THE Ohio State University for a reason—come and take advantage of it.
Rude Awakening: All of my semester friends are finished or finishing up school already, which is weird. Of course this is the only year that it will be this way, since we won’t be on quarters anymore starting this summer. All in all though, I don’t mind not being done yet. I still feel like I have a lot of freshman year to experience in this last month or so.
Pleasant Surprise: It’s scheduling time already for autumn semester! Even though scheduling can be complicated (especially with the semester transition >.<), I’m still pretty excited to plan for the fall.
In firm friendship,
Julia Rose S.