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Drew University First-Year Students Hear About Majors From Juniors, Seniors

“Launch Your Major Day” in first-year seminars give students a feel for their options

November 2021 – Drew University first-year students recently learned about the school’s 60-plus programs of study from current juniors and seniors.

At “Launch Your Major Day,” all Drew Seminar (DSEM) students attended two panel conversations with juniors and seniors majoring in one of three general areas of study – math and sciences, social sciences, and humanities and arts.

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Sileo encouraged first-years to consider minors in the arts and languages.

Conversations were led by DSEM faculty who posed questions to the student panelists about what it was like to study, major, and work in their area, how they decided on their major, and advice they’d give to first-year students a year away from choosing one themselves. First-year students were then able to ask questions to the panelists.

“I was able to learn more about how some students took 20 credits a semester to keep up with their double majors. I was comforted knowing some of the panelists were able to balance two areas of study,” said Daniella Rosero C’24, a first-year student in the Latinxs in Hollywood DSEM.

“It was really helpful understanding the different paths and options available,” added Jennifer Arias C’24, who is taking the Nothing to Waste: Toward Intersectional Environmentalism DSEM.

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Barsoom discussed various STEM majors' workloads, rewards, and great mentors.

“I tried to communicate a message of embracing the journey of finding your major and enjoying the content growing and changing every year,” said Alyssa Sileo C’22, a theatre arts major and Spanish and applied performance double minor.

“I hope they took that it’s alright to change your major or not be gung-ho on one specific topic,” added Amir Noble C’22, a sociology major and history minor, who’s set to graduate a semester early.

Shady Barsoom C’22, a neuroscience major, offered the advice of staying patient while searching for the right major and relying on Drew’s faculty, staff, and fellow students.

“Students should take the time to explore their interests and not feel like they have to pack everything they want into a short span of time,” he said.

Helen Navas Carrera C’22, a Spanish and media & communications double major and writing and communications studies double minor, emphasized the importance of picking classes that work for each individual student.

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Gruodis-Gimbel got a lot of questions about jobs. 'It shows how career-minded and forward thinking Drew students are.'

“It’s a tough decision to make at 18 or 19, but college is not the determinant of the rest of your life, it’s a time of exploration,” she said.

Erin Gruodis-Gimbel C’22, a theatre major and dance minor, echoed Navas Carrera, saying, “College is a launching point for your future, yes, but it is also a space to explore and grow and learn in a dedicated environment. It’s okay not to know what you want to do right off the bat, and it’s okay to pursue as many different things as you want.”

The conversations with juniors and seniors left first-year students reassured about their paths ahead.

“It was an extremely helpful experience and chance to connect with other first-year students while hearing the advice of peers and faculty,” said Arias.

“I felt relieved because not every panelist knew their major when they were in their first year,” said Rosero, who plans on double majoring. “This really helped in the transition to college life, and gave me confidence when registering for spring classes that may or may not be related to a future major.”

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