Last year, I went through a difficult college major switch. For years, I believed I was happy in the field I was in even though I would come home from class in tears most days. I didn’t understand why something I loved so much made me so sad. I thought that just because I loved something, I would make a career out of it. The truth is, you can be passionate about something and not base your whole future around it.
After many tears, conversations with my friends/family and panic attacks about what I was going to do with my life, I thought about studying public relations. I have always been good at writing and I am a very organized person. At first, I was really scared. But as soon as I made the switch, it was as if a light bulb went off inside my head. Instantly, I knew I made the right choice.
It wasn’t easy leaving my old major. I endured much judgment from students in my old major and some of the professors, as well. For a while, I was ashamed to go to classes with those peers because I felt like I was giving up on myself when I was around them. For a while, I thought that I was missing out when they would do something cool. I would constantly remind myself that if something stressed me out that much, I was smart to go down a different path. If I was that stressed about studying for my potential career, there would be no way I would have actually made it in that field post-graduation.
I have been told that by studying PR, I am taking the “easy way out.” Those words were said to me by someone I used to think quite highly of. It hurt to hear that, but it only confirmed even more that I had made the right choice with the switch. Why would I surround myself with that kind of negativity?
Since I have joined PR, I have been excited to go to class again. I can speak in class without feeling like I’m a nuisance. I completely understand the material and I look forward to hearing the critiques given to me. Projects and assignments make me excited. I never stop working. I get really excited every day and say to myself, “I get to do this for the rest of my life.”
Some notable things I have done in the last year have been writing for the Church of God, preparing to plan real events this summer, and I have created a business relationship with a non-profit organization that I love very much.
I am incredibly proud of myself for how far I have come since switching to public relations. I am challenged every single day and I am excited for what this career has to bring. My mindset surrounding my future has changed completely. I am very thankful for the love and guidance of my parents, along with Stefanie Leiter and David Baird for helping me during this transition. I owe a lot to them.
Soon, I hope to be in Boston working for the Boston Bruins Organization planning events and producing for their media company. I can’t wait to embark on this journey.
Claire Mountcastle is a junior from Anderson, Indiana, majoring in public relations and minoring in journalism. Mountcastle is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.