Find community outside of your major

Cassie Lajeunesse, Campus Carrier Editor-in-Chief

When two people meet for the first time in college, there is an unofficial script of questions that they will ask each other. Every time. First, of course, it’s “What’s your name?” Next comes “Where are you from?” And finally, and perhaps most daunting, “What’s your major?”

Our chosen degree paths define us in college. They are an easy way to categorize people, a division that happens as early as BCC groups at Berry. BCC is a great way to get to know people within your major. These are people with whom you’ll have at least a few classes, if not every single class. One of my best friends and I have shared a class every semester since BCC.

However, I’m here to tell you that your major does not have to define the entirety of your college career. Some of it, sure. But one of the most important things I’ve found in college is the importance of getting involved in activities outside of your major.

I have often been known to joke that the majority of my involvement at Berry is in departments that aren’t my major. As editor-in-chief of the Carrier, I have spent more time in Laughlin with the communication department than I have in Evans, the home of my English major. However, even this job is helping me down the career path I hope to pursue. English and communication go hand-in-hand in many ways. My advice is to find something to get involved in that is purely for your own personal joy and fulfillment.

There are so many benefits to finding a truly extracurricular activity. Personally, I have found these benefits in Berry’s music department. Music has always been a huge part of my life, but it was never something I wanted to turn into a career. However, one of my deciding factors in coming to Berry is that the music department is extremely accepting of non-music majors. I’ll try not to get too off-topic in gushing about the music department, but it has truly become my home at Berry. I attend so many concerts and spend so much time at Ford that I am asked at least once a week if I’m a music major or minor.

Through my involvement in music at Berry, I have met many of my best friends and some of the most supportive professors. Any time that I spend at Ford is an escape; I can forget about class or work stresses and focus solely on making music with these wonderful people, many of whom I might not have met otherwise. A few of the music professors have become some of my favorite people and have given me advice on countless occasions, though I’m not their advisee and it’s rarely about music. Being involved in something outside of my major has allowed me to be well-rounded and experience different perspectives on life and the college experience. I have had the opportunity to travel, meet a wide variety of people and become a part of something larger than myself.

Now, I’m not saying that your outlet has to be musical (though I would highly recommend it). However, I think that it’s very important for everyone to have some sort of non-academic outlet. Berry is known for its academic rigor and student work program, which are excellent assets to every student. That being said, all college students need to remember to take some time for themselves. It’s an important principle of self-care and can be easily accomplished through an extracurricular outlet.

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