Arguably, one of the biggest stressors when going to college is choosing one’s major. Not only does it select the career path for the rest of one’s life, but it also determines how a student will spend their next four years.
Different majors often mean different schedules and experiences throughout college. Some majors require field placements, some internships and some require little time outside of class at all. For example, a nursing major and a business major have vastly different schedules each day.
Ryan Gorman, an information systems and management major, usually starts his day by waking up at ten in the morning each day, because he doesn’t have class until around eleven or noon. He starts off his day by taking a shower and eating breakfast, which usually consists of either a protein bar or eggs and toast.
Unlike Gorman, nursing major Theresa Marcelino-Ton begins her day much earlier at around seven in the morning, starting with a bowl of cereal and plenty of coffee for breakfast.
“I eat breakfast and I normally just, like, mentally prepare myself for the amount of work that I have to get done. So, I like to listen to music, relax and deep breathe,” Marcelino-Ton stated.
After getting ready and eating breakfast, Gorman walks to class, which usually takes about fifteen minutes, as he lives in University Park and is walking to Perdue Hall. He then has back-to-back classes, which usually last about three to four hours in total. Because of his course load, he doesn’t normally eat lunch.
Marcelino-Ton must head to class rather early. Her first class on Tuesdays and Thursdays starts at seven or eight in the morning, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, her first class begins at nine. While her lectures usually last around fifty minutes each, Marcelino-Ton must also complete clinicals, which can last anywhere from four to eight hours.
Marcelino-Ton normally gets about a forty-five-minute lunch break on the days that she has her clinicals, and on days with regular class, she fits in lunch after her twelve o’clock lecture.
After class, Gorman usually contacts either his girlfriend or his friends to see if anyone wants to hang out. He usually hangs out with his friends until around six in the evening, when he eats dinner. He either goes to Commons or cooks for himself.
“If Commons has something good, I’ll go to Commons. If not, [I’ll eat] maybe like ramen noodles, [or] maybe if I’m feeling adventurous, chicken,” Gorman stated.
After her classes, Marcelino-Ton often puts in work outside of the traditional lecture setting.
“We go to the skills lab, and we have to get our skills checked off, so there are a lot of extra hours that we have to go back into a lab or go back online and do our online quizzes or assignments,” Marcelino-Ton stated.
After dinner, Gorman typically just relaxes, usually choosing to watch TV or Netflix. His homework load is rather light, though it is just the beginning of the semester. If he does have homework, Gorman states that he would probably do it before and after dinner.
“Right now, I haven’t had any homework. Hopefully, I start having homework,” Gorman stated.
Unlike Gorman, in the afternoons and evenings, Marcelino-Ton spends her time doing homework, usually until bed, though sometimes she has a club meeting. She typically has around four to five hours of homework to get done in order to prepare for clinicals and upcoming lectures. However, she states that her homework can range from four to 12 hours per day, usually keeping her busy until she goes to bed.
“I try to squeeze in dinner just when I get hungry, but I usually eat dinner just while I’m working, because there’s just not enough hours in the day. I also prioritize, like, seven hours of sleep, so I just have to combine a lot of things,” Marcelino-Ton stated.
Despite Marcelino-Ton’s extremely busy schedule, she states that she knew to expect a large workload and believes that the payoff will be worth it.
“I do know that nursing majors put in a lot of work, which was expected going into the program, so this is in no means complaining … because there is a big goal we are working towards, becoming the best nurses. I think it is all worth it,” Marcelino-Ton stated.
With different majors comes different schedules. It all comes down to one’s goals and personal preferences. A nursing major may not be able to imagine taking business courses, and vice versa. When one chooses the major that is the right fit, the schedule that follows often is worth it.
By LAURA AMRHEIN
Featured photos from Laura Amrhein.