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Follow your passion, even if it means switching majors

The old saying goes, “Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Imagine that.

Arguably, the first step in any career—or at least your first career—is choosing a major. Most students at UNH chose their majors during their first few semesters as college students. In fact, if you’re a freshman or sophomore reading this, you may still be undeclared. And that’s perfectly fine.

What is important, however, is to make sure you’re studying something you’re passionate about, especially if it’s going to lead into your career. Moreover, it’s equally as important to have the courage to switch majors if you find yourself bored, unhappy or longing to study something else.

A great example of someone doing just that comes in the form of this year’s Donald Murray Visiting Journalist, UNH Alumnus Marcus Weisgerber ’04.

Weisgerber is a journalist covering global business for DefenseOne, a publication based out of Washington, D.C., whose work has taken him across the globe. However, he didn’t start out as journalism major, or even an English major for that matter. Actually Weisgerber wasn’t even in the College of Liberal Arts. Rather, he was an engineering student in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Let that sink in for a moment.

So what made him change his mind? He was enrolled in a writing class when the United States came under attack on 9/11. For a class assignment, he told the story of some relatives who were present at the attack site. Weisgerber said he enjoyed telling their story so much he decided to switch his major to study journalism.

It’s amazing to think that someone pursuing a degree in CEPS would make such a drastic change academically. But for Weisgerber, I think it’s safe to assume the change was a great move.

Granted, not everyone is going to have an experience like Weisgerber’s, but his story is certainly something to which many of us can relate.

UNH has an abundance of majors and disciplines. Check out the front page to read about the new “brewing” minor that’s being offered. Seriously, there’s a minor in brewing beer. How cool is that?

Additionally, there are a number of extra-curricular activities available to students that could potentially complement their academic interests. Visit WildcatLink sometime, there are over 300 organizations to choose from.

If you find yourself unhappy academically, don’t be afraid to make a switch. It’s okay to try something and not like it. That’s the essence of the old “college try,” anyway.

Trust your instincts, and pursue something if it lights a spark inside of you. It worked for Weisgerber, and it just might work for you.

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