I was challenged while choosing a major. How do I know if I made the right choice?

Anna Wang ’21 – Athletic Training / Physical Therapy

Being a first generation college student was more difficult than I ever imagined. Growing up, my immigrant parents did not have the luxury of attending college, let alone middle school or high school. They’ve spent most of their time living in poverty and had to work for everything that they have. Understandably, my parents did not want the same fate for me. Getting a good education was very important to my parents. Like many Asian parents, my parents encouraged me to become a doctor, pharmacist, or a dentist. They considered a “successful” career to be a job that had a high salary despite whether you loved it or not. Unfortunately for them, I was not the type of person that wanted to work a 9 to 5 job. I wanted to a job that I would actually want to wake up to every morning. I knew from a very young age that I would not be able to live up to my parents’ expectations despite the fact that they have tried their best to guide me in the right direction.

All throughout school, I wanted to be anything and everything from a fashion designer to an automotive designer. I took bogus online quizzes to help me determine what I would be dedicating my time to for the next 35 years of my life. It took me a while but I realized that in order to pick the right major, you need to have to put yourself out there to discover who you truly are. This may include taking up classes that you might not think you’re particularly good at or even just volunteering.

My parents weren’t very supportive of my major. Understandably, they wanted to make sure that there was a future for my job. I assured them that the NFL will always need a top notch trainer to help them heal and that there will be a need for physical therapists since the baby boomers are now reaching old age.

As an athletic training/physical therapy major, I am confident that I chose the right major. I know that I don’t work well at a desk, but I do work well on sports fields or in a rehabilitation facility where I can meet athletes and patients and get to know them on a personal level. I also know that after spending many hours in an athletic training facility that I enjoyed the environment and the knowledge that my trainers had to offer. Knowing that in the near future I can help people recover is a reward in itself. I know that I made the right choice because I can truly say that I can imagine myself waking up every morning for the next 50 years looking forward to doing something that I don’t necessarily refer to as work, but as something as natural play

Anna Wang is a member of the College’s Media Squad