Second semester of sophomore year, I realized that the time had finally come for me to make some decisions — you know, the big ones that will ultimately solidify my position in society and determine how I will spend the rest of my days. My future happiness and sanity depended on those decisions.
The only problem was that I was already a year and a half into college, and I was starting to question whether or not my chosen major was right for me. I knew that there were probably plenty of other people in the same boat — but isolation is the theme of every introverted college kid’s narrative, isn’t it?
I thought I had a plan going into freshman year, a clear path cut for me. I knew exactly how this was going to go. I was supposed to major in journalism, immediately move to one of the journalistic capitals of the world and write for a top-notch publication.
I fell in love with journalism when I joined my high school newspaper staff sophomore year. Among the countless AP Style rules being drilled into my head was another rule: everyone has a story. That rule changed the way I saw my peers. Instead of looking at them as just kids in class, I was seeing people who had something important to say. I wanted to know all of their stories. So I asked.
I don’t really know what happened from there. I went on to university, and suddenly it was like I was in third grade again, drowning in a sea of social butterflies. People were nice, sure, but they weren’t always genuine and that scared me. I stopped asking. I stopped writing. I took three semesters of journalism classes; I even work on the student-run, award-winning newspaper to this day. I’m not necessarily afraid to interview people or write the articles I’m assigned; I’ve just sort of misplaced that drive to pursue stories on my own and really know the people around me.
So I decided to make a change.
I recognized the fact that I might not be cut out for the competitive, self-driven world of journalism. I made the conscious decision to leave it to the more courageous introverts and find a better fit for myself, and I changed my major.
Social work was actually my first plan before my love for journalism gave me tunnel vison. When I was young, my parents divorced, and I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle. It was supposed to be temporary, but the next thing I knew, I had spent 11 years in their house, and they were the ones helping me apply for college and do my taxes. They were the ones who raised me, who took me to church every Sunday and taught me how to think for myself.
Because of this, I’ve always felt like I have some sort of responsibility, an obligation to help the kids in places I easily could have been in. If my aunt and uncle hadn’t taken me in, if they had said no, I don’t know where I would be now. And I think every single one of the kids in the foster care system deserves the same thing they gave me.
There are kids who stay in the system their whole lives, and then they’re tossed onto the streets the second they turn 18 with nowhere to go and no one to help them. These people need love, support, guidance. These kids need families. By being a social worker, I can find people like my aunt and uncle who want to love these kids and make sure they have the opportunity to do so.
So, when choosing my new career and redefining my future, I decided to make it my mission to find kids like me and to introduce them to people like them.
Now that I’ve made this decision, it seems like an obvious thing to me, but it took me so long to get here. At the time, I was in love with journalism and too stubborn to give it up. I still love journalism, but I’ve accepted that it’s not God’s plan for my life. It took so much courage for me to fill out that form on Pipeline and officially change my major, but then I read one of those fancy font quotes on Pinterest. It said, “Never let your fear decide your fate,” and I repeated it to myself as I pressed submit.
Jasia Hogue is the opinions editor for The Bison. She may be contacted at