A lot of people come to college knowing exactly what they will study. They have mastered the basic skills to advance their knowledge, participated in various school activities to get some experience, and completed everything necessary to be where they are in their majors happily.


However, other people come to college with no clue as to what they want to do. Some people come in with an idea that completely changes. People like me.


I was admitted an English Education major, had a classroom my senior year of high school and hated it. I then switched to Business Administration, attended a Decision Day, and was bored the entire time. I moved to Political Science, admitting to myself that I love to follow and analyze politics- maybe I’ll find something there. After taking a communications class I added another major. Clearly, I fall into the “all-over-the-place” category.


However, I can gladly say that this week I hit my academic sweet spot.


“What is that Shannon? What is the ‘sweet spot?’” you ask.


Today I tied together that the viral spread of a mass-mediated message displays the values of a culture (which are socially constructed by said culture by the way). A message in clear altruism does not spread if it does not ring true to the values of a culture, regardless if the intentions are kind or not.


Last week, I left myself with the mental dilemma of trying to digest two separate definitions of what the core functions of the media are by two very intelligent professors from two different classes. If they are core functions within communications, how can there be two different definitions? Through varying theoretical approaches, obviously.


 “What did you just say Shannon?” you ask. I am asking too.


If you told me any of that a year ago, I would have laughed at you. People do not get jobs studying communication! Who cares about sending a tweet and having it go viral? Who cares what that says about the culture? Who cares about the functions of media- I just want the latest sports updates!


I have realized I care. I sat outside the library, thinking about all that I learned, and wiped away for an hour that investigating these answers may not provide me with an income. I just sat there and enjoyed exploring a sweet spot in my learning experience.

The best place to have an existential crisis: outside the library

The best place to have an existential crisis, outside the library

I ask professors questions after class because my brain needs clarity. I read all the required readings because I want to. I write over every word count I get for papers because I have too much to say.

This is the academic sweet spot. When you care so much to go above and beyond because you want to, you’ve hit it.

Don’t be afraid to change your major to find it. While I may be biased being a college student and not a struggling adult, I hope that everyone finds their academic sweet spot because man, it feels good.

~Shannon Poulsen




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