Do not fear changing majors

Why I made the decision to adjust my career path.

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Jacqueline Lewis, Writer

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When I began my academic journey at Biola, I was majoring in biological science. Halfway through my first semester however, I switched to a different field altogether: political science. I love biology, and I tend to do well in math and science. Despite the appearance of a perfect academic fit, I continued to feel less and less fulfilled as the semester passed, and soon I understood why.

From my late elementary school years on, I wanted to pursue law, politics and academia. I could not shake the call to law and politics, regardless of my interest in every other field. I always believed that God wanted me to glorify him by being a Christian voice in a field generally perceived as exceedingly corrupt. That was perhaps my strongest motivation throughout high school to do well in my classes and involve myself in service leadership. But by my senior year of high school, I doubted myself and I doubted God’s provision for me in that field. And before the semester started, I registered for classes as a biology major.

THE FACTORS

Two factors contributed to this lack of faith — my failures and my successes. Although I have greatly improved since my elementary and middle school years, I continue to experience unease in social situations. Due to this anxiety, as I neared the end of high school I thought to myself, “How could I practice law or have a career in politics if I must overcome my own nerves every single day?” It sounded frightening and exhausting for someone so introverted, so I felt that I had to leave my dream behind.

My own arrogance also hindered me from doing what God called me to do. In high school, I took all the advanced placement and honors classes I could fit into my schedule, I earned straight A’s, became president of Key Club and vice president of Pink Ribbon Club, played varsity tennis and eventually became the salutatorian of the school. I looked smart and I wanted to continue to look smart in college. So, I thought that majoring in biological science and then getting a law degree would look even smarter. Though I enjoyed my classes and still have a passion for the sciences, my main career motivators were arrogance and self-doubt, not following God’s will.

RELYING ON GOD

After months of the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart, I finally listened and filled out the necessary paperwork to switch majors. A burden lifted off of my shoulders and I felt more joy than I had in months. I still enjoyed chemistry and calculus as much as I had before, but now I knew that I was doing what God told me to do, and I could trust him to provide for me a voice when I am fearful, and humility when I seek my own glory. When we choose what path we take in our academic careers, we cannot let our own glory or fear of failure drive us. We can only rely on God in his goodness to provide for us strength and humility in the face of our futures.

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