Written by University of Utah student and StepUp Federal Work-Study Employee Marcella Sweet – Posted on February 19, 2019

Choosing what to study in college can be challenging. I struggled to find the right field of study – I stood in my own way and made my life harder by clinging to misguided opinions. I want to share that story with you and hopefully help you avoid the mistakes I experienced.

When I started college, I chose to pursue a degree in Graphic Design. It seemed like a nice career, but I never really thought about the fact that I do not get along with computers and had never designed anything before in my life.

That first semester, I also picked classes I thought met my college’s general studies requirements without taking the time to actually sit down and discuss it with an academic advisor. As a result, I took credits that didn’t count toward the requirements for general studies or a Graphic Design degree. This left me confused and frustrated, so I took a semester off hoping I would have a magical epiphany and realize with clarity what I wanted to do with my life. All of these decisions cost me time and money.


This was when I decided to reevaluate my strategy. I sat down with an academic advisor at my college to discuss my options.


She talked to me about some of my interests and recommended that I take a round of communication classes because they met the requirements for a Bachelors of Business and Strategic Communications. She also helped me take a closer look at my transcript – it turned out the classes I had taken in the past left me just two semesters away from getting a degree in communications. After my first month in this new major, I realized I loved this subject – it is enjoyable and has challenged me in all the right ways.

I will graduate in May with my Bachelors in Strategic Communication, a minor in business, two Associate’s Degrees and a Certificate in Financial Planning. My own stubbornness and preconceived notions nearly prevented me from finding and excelling in what I really loved.


You do not have to know what you want to do when you step onto your campus for the first time, but don’t stand in your own way by holding onto opinions without doing some investigating.


Ask for help if you need it – meet with an academic advisor to gain some advice and insights. In the meantime, take a look at UtahFutures to explore your future college major or career options.

Marcella is a Federal Work-Study student with UHEAA and StepUp Utah. She is currently completing her final year of undergraduate coursework at the University of Utah.