Since beginning a new major will likely lead to a lot of awkward mistakes and you not knowing what on Earth you are doing, I decided to ask a few upperclassmen what advice they would give to underclassmen of their program.
Advice for all majors
Junior Advertising Communications major Allie Leng gave some great advice that all college students could use.
She said, “Plan out when you take your courses because some are only offered and spring and fall, and you need to make sure you take them before you graduate.” As a double major, I have to admit that this is some key advice I would recommend to someone else.
She also said some great advice about work ethic. “Develop your work habits when you are a freshman or a sophomore because it will make life easier when you hit junior and senior year.” She also recommends to proof read your papers multiple times before turning them in. I would recommend that too because I have paid the consequences of not doing that multiple times.
Senior Computer Science major Stephen Haywiser believes it is important that you can see you doing your chosen major for the rest of your life. He said, “The biggest mistake they can make is going to a career that you cannot see yourself doing for life.” This is something I carefully considered when choosing my dual major.
Senior engineering major Brenon Joseph said that knowing your resources on campus is important, whether it is the student success center or upperclassmen to help you along.
There is some advice Leng would give to an Advertising Communications major.
She said, “Get internships. I have learned a lot from class work, but I learned even more from real world experiences.” In her internship, she worked with digital marketing, web design, social media, and lead generating.”
Many computer science majors think they are getting into video game design. Haywiser stated that is not always the case. He said, “Computer science is about computers. We an do thing for coding to make a video game but we aren’t the graphics people. That is why there are majors for that at art schools.” Computer science is the coding behind everything.
Computer science majors also have to do a senior design project. While it may seem scary, it is manageable. When asked about how to first approach the project, Haywiser said, “Keep an open mind about it. Try to think about who you want to work with since it is a group project so you know who you work best with. If you get an internship, you can ask if you can do your project for them or see what you could do around the university.”
Many engineering students are intimidated by how difficult the major is. Senior engineering major Brenon Joseph stated that a lot of freshman get stressed out and time management becomes a problem. He recommends sitting down with a planner and scheduling what you do and when in order to manage time.
He also says it is important to do internships and know that it is possible to build your career while you are still in college. Joseph completed one internship with Khonsulic where he worked on engineering tools.