Purpose found through major changes

Sierra Hodges

I had one goal on my mind: attend Abilene Christian starting in the fall 2017 and graduate with a bachelor’s degree of science. Little did I know my plans would end up with two hospital visits during the summer and a long, long road of recovery.

Since I was 9 years old, I dreamed of being a pediatric oncologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital writing medical journals. But my passion for writing and desire for my voice to be heard had me questioning that decision. During freshman orientation, I remembered how I’d done journalism in high school, and the freedom to speak my mind and tell people’s stories made me decide mass communication would be the “best” choice for me.

I was worried about the switch since I had already made my schedule to all bio/chemistry classes. I was surprised with how easy it was to change my classes to correlate with mass communication, and this was all right before the start of the fall semester, so I thought I was on track.

I was ready to set off to Abilene, but as the days drew closer during the summer, I tore my meniscus and needed knee surgery with extensive physical therapy. Instead of going to the school on the top of my list, I had to stay home for school. I became fascinated with learning about how to make bones and joints work again going through PT. All the while I began to look through mass communication jobs, I realized it would be really hard to get a job in that field, so I started second guessing my change.

With each day, I regained strength in my knee, and I was thankful for someone knowing how to get me back to doing everyday activities that were still a challenge. The amount of progress I was making in such a small amount of time drove me to work harder. I was grateful that someone was there to help me down this difficult road. That’s when I decided that no matter what, I wanted to stay in the medical field, so I switched to exercise physiology to become a pediatric physical therapist. I had heard how a lot of freshman tend to change their major a few times, so after talking around campus, I felt a little better not having my life completely together.

While going through this semester, however, I started to doubt and steer away from biology/chemistry path. I prayed a lot and thought about my future more than I ever had before. I want to do something I love for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to settle for something I don’t like. I did a lot of research and talked to a few pediatricians about their field and decided to switch my major back to biology with a double minor in chemistry and psychology. That was my third and final switch. Now that I’ve switched back, I’m happier and more excited for the long road ahead of me.

I was scared. I was confused. And sometimes, I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do, but switching so many times actually helped me find what I love and where I feel like I belong. It was stressful jumping from major to major, but it helped me. I had one goal to achieve, and while it changed several times to get it right, it took some searching to find out that it was the best place for me. Without my prayers and the counselors here at MSU, I may have found out too late what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

Sierra Hodges is a biology freshman.

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