Beyond Graduation: College Majors

Seniors share the majors they chose


Along with college applications often comes the task of declaring a major. Many students enter college undecided or switch majors at some point during their academic journeys. Others turn longtime passions into degrees. 

Senior Mickey Robinson, who will attend Brown University to study linguistics, has long been interested in the subject. 

“Linguistics is the study of language and how it works,” Robinson said. “The reason I like it is it’s really interdisciplinary. Anything has connections to linguistics because language is everywhere.” 

Specifically, Robinson is excited to explore a branch of linguistics called natural language processing.

“[Natural language processing is] how you can use computers to process human language,” Robinson said. “Any kind of translation or autocorrect like Siri and Alexa – … all of those are different kinds of language models.” 

The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) is one way for students to explore the field of linguistics, especially if they are interested in the field as a future major. NACLO is a linguistics contest for students in high school.

“If you’re specifically interested in linguistics [NACLO is] really cool,” Robinson said. “Even if you’re not interested in linguistics, it’s a lot of fun. You get to do puzzles with languages [and similar activities].”

Senior Lizzie Farr will be continuing her education at James Madison University (JMU), where she plans to major in justice studies on the criminology track. Farr had wanted to do justice studies for a while and even got it on her Naviance career clusters quiz when she was younger. 

“I really like learning about … justice, … and I always wanted to do something that would help people,” Farr said. “I thought about Social Work, but I decided on justice studies because I feel like I would be better in that area.”

She is excited about JMU’s justice program, particularly the incorporation of world affairs and their study abroad programs, where students can see how law enforcement helps communities. 

“I would tell [people interested in majoring in justice] that you totally should if you want to, because there are so many different career paths to take [within the field],” Farr said. 

Senior Alexa Brooke has decided to major in elementary education at JMU. 

“Ever since I was in elementary school, I always wanted to be a teacher,” Brooke said. “I take a class in the Career Center that lets me help out in classrooms right now, and … it’s always really fun whenever I’m there, so I’m excited to be able to do that in college.”

So far, Brooke has enjoyed her experiences in the field. 

“From what I’ve seen so far, it’s really worth it, and I haven’t even been a teacher yet,” Brooke said. “Getting to see the kids grow and learn more things is very rewarding and I’m very attached to them.”

Senior Jonah Bierman has decided to study music business at New York University (NYU). He has enjoyed music since he was little but wants to go into the business part of the industry. 

“[NYU has] required internships with labels [and other music companies], which is really cool,” Bierman said.  

For students interested in this field for the future, Bierman recommends doing online summer programs to boost your experience.

“I feel like [online summer programs were] the biggest resume boost I had,” Bierman said. “A lot of them are free, like … UCLA … [offers] a lot of classes, or you can take online programs and get credit or just audit it. [It is] really just getting a taste of what it is before you leap in…to see that that’s what you’re interested in.