Online Exclusive: A Major Decision

With the Majors and Minors Exploration Fair coming up on Sept. 17, Youngstown State University will once again do its part to direct new students and wayward veterans of YSU to their ideal major.

At the fair, students can roam between booths and speak with advisers from the six different undergraduate colleges about the 115 undergraduate majors.

Laurie Paul, an academic adviser for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, is in charge of the event this year. She advises students who are undecided in CLASS and often acts as the guide for students hunting for their major.

“Students stumble upon majors from taking general education courses all the time. I have advised so many students who have taken a course, fell in love with it, and declared it as their major, without even knowing that would happen,” Paul said.

Catie Carney, a recent YSU graduate and former Student Government Association president, experienced this phenomenon, finding her major while taking a general education course. She decided to take Calculus 1 because she had taken it in high school.

“I thought I would hate it, so I took it my first semester to be done with math forever. But, I actually had a great professor and I ended up enjoying it,” Carney said.

She later ended up deciding on double majoring in mathematics and political science.

“[I] was lucky to have been able to study two very different areas,” she said.

Kim Bennett, a fourth-year forensic science major, stumbled upon her major after her high school started a new forensic science class. She had wanted to be a veterinarian her entire life, but decided to take the high school course and surprisingly fell in love with it.

“I realized I was super good at forensic science without even trying … so I decided to go for it in college on a whim and was awesome at it,” Bennett said.

Bennett aspires to be an FBI Fingerprint Analyzer.

Emily Orlo, a sophomore business administration major, also unexpectedly came across her major.

“I used to be a dental hygiene major. I love animals though. One day my family was taking our dog to the kennel, and it suddenly hit me that running my own kennel would be the perfect thing to do, because almost every town needs a dog kennel,” Orlo said.

Orlo followed her passion and changed her major shortly after.

Paul emphasized the impact finding the right major can have on a student’s future — which is why she considers the Major Fair an event of paramount importance.

“Deciding on a major is an important decision that can affect one’s academic success, as well as their experience at Youngstown State,” Paul said. “The advantages become even greater if a student discovers their passion with just a short, or even a long visit to the fair, as then one’s adventure truly begins at YSU as a student uncovers their passion while getting involved with the major that is the perfect fit for them.”