I never expected to be a communication studies major in college. When I was a senior in high school, I thought I might to major in history or anthropology. By the time I entered UNCW, I had decided on pursuing a degree in marketing at the Cameron School of Business.
For me, marketing was and is the perfect marriage between my strategic and creative sides. I took business classes for my entire first year of college and did well. I enjoyed economics, business statistics, and accounting was… tolerable. I first discovered the communication studies major when I had to do a project where I had to interview someone in the field of my dream job. While interviewing one of the Marketing Department professors, I was given some advice that would change my life “Take some upper-level communication studies courses.”
As the first Marketing Coordinator for Atlantis Magazine at UNCW’s Student Media, I found myself a lone business major in a sea of communication studies majors. Talking to these students, I was intrigued by the major and all the different skills I could learn. Already, I felt stifled by the business school and felt that I wasn’t learning things that applied to what I wanted to do. Communication studies offered the opportunity to spend more time in areas that interested me.
I signed up for COM 105 not knowing what to expect but quickly fell in love with the major. The communication concepts I learned in that class helped me through a difficult time in my life. Every time I went to the class I found elements that I could apply to things I was working through. I also learned how I could pursue public relations, advertising, IMC, journalism, and even qualitative and quantitative research as a communication studies major. I had always been interested in these fields but never imagined that there would be a major where I could learn all of them. Communication studies gave me the chance to pursue what I was passionate about.
Communication studies has opened doors for me that I never imagine. Through the major, I have been able to pursue qualitative research, work with clients in public relations, advertising, and IMC, and learn more about myself and relating to others. I also had the opportunity to study abroad and study advertising at a Costa Rican University (in Spanish eek), which would have been much harder to do as a business major. The upper-level communication studies classes that I first learned about as a freshman have been some of my best experiences in college. I’ve never regretted my decision to switch my major and have enjoyed every minute of my time as a communication studies major.
Now, nearly a graduate of the communication studies major, I can’t believe how quickly it has all passed by. My time through the major has felt like a whirlwind, but I have loved every moment. I wish I could stay longer and keep learning about this amazing field. As I look ahead to graduation, I know that the communication concepts I learned in this major will help me achieve success in my career, my life, and my relationships. I can’t believe it’s over, but I can’t wait to see where communication studies will take me.
Even though our interest differ I can agree that this major has changed my life for the better. Still not knowing what I want to do I have learned skills through the Communication studies department that will help me in whatever I do. Becoming a senior next year is terrifying yet exciting. There are so many paths to choose from with Communication that it calms my nerves a little. I have improved upon my public speaking and have little anxiety speaking in front of large groups. I have switched my major a few times and now I feel confident and comfortable in the major I am in.
This story was so inspiring! I love reading people talk about the benefits that they have gained from COM. It is a major that not a lot of people understand, yet it is the root of everything. I think Communication Studies is similar to business/marketing, however; we analyze more of the people perspective and why people do the things they do. It is so wonderful to read stories like this because it makes me fall more in love with my major.
This post really gave me a lot of hope for the future! I also did not start my journey off at UNCW as a Communication Studies major, and it’s refreshing to see that I’m not the only one. Seeing the amazing opportunities you’ve had because of UNCW and the Communication Studies Department shows me that this experience is just as unique and special for each student. I cannot wait to be where you are at, and look back at all of the amazing things that came into my life because of our wonderful school and major.
I really enjoyed reading your article, and mostly because I can relate to a majority of what you wrote. Although I am only a sophomore I too started the com major in the same boat as you. I was dead set on pursuing marketing at the business school, but I was worried about the impact that math had on the business major. That’s when my advisor informed me about communication. It was basically love at first sight and I could not be more happy with the decision. I am now optimistic about my future as a com major and what all is in store for my future. Reading your article was reassurance that I am exactly where I belong! Thanks.
This article really spoke to me. I also didn’t plan on being a Comm. Studies major and even switched away from it once before returning. Comm. Studies was one of the best decisions I could have ever made, Comm. Studies has taught me so many practical skills that will help me be successful in any future career that I choose.
I have a similar experience where I came into UNCW wanting to major in pre med or business. My sophomore year I started my journey into a business degree, but realized that I wasn’t passionate about it. I decided to explore and took COM 105 and fell in love that department. I too wanted to go with the marketing route of business and I never knew that I could do the same thing with communication. This major has taught me a lot and I can’t wait for all the great opportunities that will come.
Your story is very compelling! I feel like I can relate to you in every aspect except my interest in marketing! I’ve never been good at math so I would just be putting myself through misery to go to business school! I also never thought I would become a COM major, but it has been the best decision I’ve ever made! I was always one of those students who never knew what they wanted to do with their lives, but now I couldn’t be happier knowing I am truly enjoying what I am learning in my classes and while I have about a year left, I know it will fly by! and I may not know now exactly what I want to do when I graduate, I know there are many opportunities with my degree that will arise. Also, I am going to Costa Rica for a summer session and couldn’t be more excited! I have always wanted to travel so I am fulfilling my dream while pursuing my degree! And who knows?… Maybe I’ll find a passion while I’m there!
This is a unique quite that has a lot of true behind it. College is a practice run for the real life. This is where we get to mess up and try again before we enter into this big mess we call life.
I really enjoyed reading this article. I can relate to a lot of it. This post definitely motivated me to move on with my major and made me excited to learn more. I feel even more confident in my major after reading this.
I too was unsure of the major at first, but you explained it well by saying the Communication Major is a door-opener, one that allows education in all aspects rather than hindering to specifics from the beginning. COM 105 has applicable lessons that relate to anyone’s life for sure, and the major has never been a compressor to my education either. IMC in particular can apply to any career. Good luck in leading your life!
I love hearing about how communication has such a positive impact on people’s lives and the direction they want to go in in life. I sometimes still don’t know how to fully support the communication major, because it’s not simply, “I’m going to get a specific job right away”. It is always refreshing to read about how great communication is to some people, to remind myself how great the major is.
Layne, this is such a wonderful reflection. You are truly a COM poster child–a student who’s taken advantage of the practical and strategic side of COM in IMC courses, but who has also focused on interpersonal and cultural communication through ethnographic, qualitative research in your Honors thesis. I remember asking you about COM a lot when we both worked on Atlantis together. Your answers to my questions about the major helped me decide to take COM 105 the next year, myself (I too found that a lot of the teachings in 105 resonated with me, and Dr. Weber’s earnest exhortation to personal honesty has stuck with me ever since in a way I can’t quite explain). And now here I am–a double major in creative writing and COM, with an equal love for both majors.
The Communication Studies Department at UNCW is, in my opinion, one of the hidden gems of our school. So many people I know switched to COM later in their college career because for the first year or two of college, they had no idea what all COM encompassed and how it could help them accomplish their goals. I would love to see COM reach more incoming freshmen and better self-advertise the opportunities made available by its studies.
Wow… just wow! I found amazing how much I could actually relate to this post as well. I am also a Business – Marketing student that decided to give Communication Studies a try and simply fell in love with the major, and now I am double-majoring in both! I think it was awesome how you talked the differences with the two majors, as some people still think that the Marketing offered in Communication Studies is pretty much the same one would see by taking the Business Marketing concentrations. Other than that, I also had a quick and, unfortunately, not so pleasant experience as the Marketing Coordinator for Atlantis Magazine (for 2 weeks…. hehe) but I found amazing all those similarities we shared! I wish you all the best in the “real” adult life!
I also did not think I would become a communication major either but I was amazed by how much you can do with this major as well. I am a junior and time has flown by for me as well, I do not have long which is why I will cherish my last year of college the most. In the end I am glad I took a chance and majored in communications, and I agree I will also take all the things I learned from this major with me into the real world next year after I graduate
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us about your unique journey through the major. It’s comforting to remember that not everyone in the major KNEW they were destined to be a communication studies major. Who’s to say where we’ll all end up in the future as well? It’s about taking every day one day at a time. I came into college straight from high school set on being a film major. After my freshman year and taking a few of the classes, I realized it wasn’t quite the route I wanted to be on. After researching some more about the COM major, I fell in love. I love that communication studies covers a wider range of important, interlaced, communication skills and topics. I have loved every moment thus far as well and looking forward to what the next two years have in store. Wishing you all the best of luck in graduating, congratulations! Spread the tikkun olam:)
I am only a sophomore but I connected with your story quite well. When I was growing up I wanted nothing more in the world than to be a veterinarian. I love animals more than I love people and I wanted to be able to take care of them as a career. As I got older I realized how much science and math was required to go into it and how competitive the field was becoming and sort of lost hope. I got deferred twice (didn’t know that was possible until it happened to me) from NC State my senior year of high school and knew something was up and I was meant to go somewhere else. I chose UNCW and wanted to major in Business and minor in Communications but that wasn’t offered so I just decided to stick with COM. I am a junior credit wise now and am getting deeper into the major and don’t regret my decision whatsoever. Time goes by so fast that we don’t even realize that college is so close to ending. I am a sophomore and can’t believe that I’ll be a junior next year and then graduating, it feels like I literally just started freshman year 4 months ago.
I loved this anecdote about com studies and the process and the knowledge it leaves you with!
I, too, was taking business classes my first year of college. I was introduced to Communication studies late in my sophomore year of college and I knew that it was the right major for me. I love studying Communication and I am so glad I picked it!
I relate to this post in a big way, coming to college I really had no clue what I wanted to do or what I wanted to start investing myself in. I am starting to feel the same way about doors opening, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. This post is really heartfelt, and made me so excited for you and the next big exciting chapters of your life!
I must say, I was drawn into this blog post simply from the quote from Nora Ephron. Reading your story is inspiring and defends our major of Communication Studies. I am currently a sophomore and your blog post gets me excited for what I have ahead of me in the COM Studies Department! Thank you for sharing your personal testimony!