December 2, 2022 | CULTURE | By Alexandra Akinchina | Illustration by Liz White
Welcome back to CC Alumni Advice – for this article, I spoke to three new alumni about their major-deciding journey. Here are their responses.
One of the first people I reached out to was Molly Seaman ’21, who majored in English and minored in both The Book and French Language. Seaman had always loved creative expression and wanted to explore language, but when she first arrived at Colorado College, she turned to the practical. “I was thinking that since I picked an atypical school, it might be best to choose a marketable major,” she said.
However, she quickly realized that college could not be refined to one area. She knew it would be worth it to study something fulfilling: “I decided to pursue my intellectual curiosities, hoping that the passion I had for what I was doing every day would help me develop into the person I needed to be for the working world.”
Despite following her passion, she still believed that her major would be a disadvantage to her after graduation. “I decided to work various part-time jobs while in college so I could discover how I wanted to monetize my existing interests. My major would be a fun four years, but the Poetry industry isn’t exactly booming… I needed experience in an industry.”
After working in CC’s Office of Communications and Marketing during her first year, she began to discover that she could use her passion for storytelling in the working world.
Her advice for choosing a major: “Choose something that will motivate you to face the world as your authentic self.” Currently, she is a Digital Marketing Manager at a medical device start-up.
Hunter Martinez ’15 majored in Environmental Science: Chemistry and minored in Biochemistry. He chose his major because he “enjoyed chemistry in high school and wanted to understand its application to environmental science.”
His advice for CC students: “Choose a major that you enjoy learning about and two, accomplishes the goals you currently have.” He adds that “learning isn’t just about knowledge of a subject matter.”
Currently, Martinez is finishing his PhD in Immunology at Stanford University and planning on going into the biotech field after graduation.
Tara Marsh ’14, an English major and Anthropology minor, also lent her experience in regards to picking a major at CC. She always loved to read and write, but also had thoughts about whether to “choose something with a more defined career path.”
Ultimately, she stuck with her choice and loved that she got to learn more about something she was passionate about. She suggests that when picking a major, “go with your gut and don’t be afraid to change your mind down the road.”
Currently, she is a communications manager at Motorola Solutions.
In my conversations with alumni, a new theme seemed to emerge. A lot of them expressed feeling unsure whether to go with a major that they were passionate about. Whether it was society or their own feelings and thoughts, many seemed to be called to something more “practical” and “useful.”
Those that stuck with their passions expressed gratitude and said that they still use the skills they learned in their respective departments every day in their jobs. They cultivated their art, found fulfillment, and were still able to carve out a space for themselves in the workforce.
Maybe – just maybe – within passion lies practicality.