How I Chose Museum Studies

I wouldn’t say that I chose my major, but rather it chose me.

Growing up, I was very excited to go to college because I wanted to make my family proud. It is every parents dream for their child to go to college and advance their education, right? Well, they don’t really talk to you about what you want to do. So I knew I was going to college, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.

As a child, I really wanted to become a teacher because all of my teachers were people that I really admired and cared about. I was the “teacher’s pet,” and I loved it. But as I got older, I didn’t really feel the same inspiration to continue that dream. So from about 5th grade to 9th grade, I didn’t really think about what I wanted to do with my life, I was just living it.

Entering high school, I decided to go to Early College High School (ECHS) which meant that I really had to start thinking about what I wanted to do. Before I even got to that point, I had to apply to get into the program, which meant doing an application, writing an essay, and doing an in-person interview. All of this at age 14, so it definitely made an impact on me and my future. After getting in, I started to get more into exciting topics that I thought would be interesting to major in when I got to college. So one of my main interests was possibly doing something with forensics. But my sophomore year of high school, I took chemistry and found that forensics was not something I would be able to do since it involves math (which I am really bad at even after years of tutoring and working with multiple teachers). It just wasn’t for me and that was fine. At the same time, I was in a program with Stark State called Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS). It was an incredibly amazing program for me personally. We visited various colleges, held seminars, attended summer classes at Stark State, and took annual trips to another state. All of this was completely free, which is not the case with most programs who do the same thing. We visited Indiana my first year, then Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL, and then St. Louis, MO the summer before my senior year.

There was one trip that really stuck out to me and it was when UBMS took us to Chicago. We visited the Field Museum, which is an incredible museum and one of my favorites. I am so lucky that I got to visit and explore, and in the end, it helped me with choosing my major. The Field Museum has an intensive dinosaur collection, including Sue, the most famous T-Rex. Seeing all of the different fossils was quite mind-blowing to me and I couldn’t believe everything in front of my eyes. Museums are places of education and exploration and that definitely was true for me. Sometime during my visit, I realized that paleontology might be something I could do. After I got back, I remember telling people that I wanted to be the person who dug up fossils, was able to date their age, and research all about dinosaurs. But there was still that aspect of science and math, which I was not good at, but I decided that that was my plan for now.

In my senior year of high school, around December, the time was getting very close to picking out a couple colleges to send applications to. So I sat down and asked myself: What am I really good at and what do I want to do? And in that, I knew that I loved English and History, but I knew that I didn’t want a focus on either English or on history. I didn’t know what I wanted to do which really scared me. I had subjects I was interested in, but nothing that really stood out to me.

I remember just being on my laptop and thinking about potential colleges and their majors. I knew I wanted to go somewhere local so I checked out Walsh University first. I didn’t want to go to a religious university because I didn’t want to be restricted, but I checked out their majors anyway. I thought a history major would probably be best for the time being since it was an easy option. Then I went online and started searching jobs similar to palentology since I was still interested in that. Then that’s when it happened and museum jobs started popping up.

It was fate. I honestly believe that either it was Google or the universe (probably both) that knew what I was searching for. I looked up museum majors and there are only a couple of universities in the east coast that have museum studies as a major; Walsh University was one of them. There are only has a few rare moments in life where everything seems to just click and fit perfectly as it for me finding museum studies.

There are so many different options with museum studies and I was so excited to start college. I could say I found my major, but it wasn’t me. It was fate, absolute fate that I just happened to find museum studies. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I just felt inside that it was perfect.

So I applied, got in, finished high school and started school at Walsh. And from then, it really just felt like I had made the right choice. I have never felt that I made the wrong decision and I think that many college students go through a crisis where they think they’re not going to make it or they chose wrong. I never had that to me and I’m so thankful that fate happened to find my major.

So that’s my story about how I chose my major, but if you asked me, I would say that it chose me. I wish everyone had the same experience that I did with finding their major, but I know that’s not the case with many people. I hope you find your path in life and hopefully our paths cross.

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