The following story is a real-life scenario about the financial and emotional toll that choosing the wrong major in college can have on a student and their family. We’re thankful to Lauren for sharing her experience and hope you find it helpful as you embark on selecting your college major. As always, I’m here to help you choose the right path to a successful future that suits you best. Contact me any time.
My college experience began during my junior year of high school. I had always dreamed of becoming an anesthesiologist and, during my junior year, I started down the road to fulfill this dream. With anesthesiology in mind, I researched university requirements for admission into pre-medicine programs. I then realized that the minimum ACT score needed to attend these schools was a 26. I was scoring 25 on practice tests. In preparing for this standardized test, my family hired a tutor who promised, “I will raise your ACT scores, guaranteed.” I finally took the ACT and then waited anxiously for my scores. When I opened the email containing my final score, I was overwhelmed with disappointment because I had received a 23, three points under the minimum requirement for my desired college program. I realized the tutor my family hired did not really prepare me (despite spending over 40 hours preparing) and we had wasted thousands of dollars.
Not wanting to give up, I continued down the anesthesiology path, searching for alternative solutions. We then hired a college coach who would lead this search and find a college that met all my needs to become an anesthesiologist. As a result of this college coach, I committed to High Point University and would begin earning my degree in the Fall of 2019. Throughout the summer prior to starting college, I went on an emotional roller coaster. I felt very anxious about my decision and constantly stressed over school. I didn’t sleep well and started to withdraw from social activities even though school had not even begun.
To help calm my nerves, Greg Emslie, founder of A More Perfect Career, gave me a couple of assessments and two hours of coaching. His program provided me with a detailed analysis along with personal insights about where my interests and strengths lie regarding future careers. I was shocked to find out from his program that my skills were 180 degrees opposite of being a doctor, specifically an anesthesiologist. My highest category on this assessment was law enforcement. I made law enforcement my plan-B option if medical school failed. I disregarded the information from his program and began taking classes at High Point University, majoring in biology.
During my early days at High Point University, I woke up every morning feeling a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress. It felt like the walls were caving in on me. I lost my appetite and, despite having friends from high school there with me, again started to withdraw. I talked with countless counselors about my major and ultimately came to the realization that if medicine failed, High Point did not offer criminology, my back-up plan. I really started to feel trapped. I felt like I was throwing more money down the drain each day I stayed. I did not feel it was where I belonged; nothing felt right. I toughed it out for a couple more days until I could not bear it anymore. I called my father and told him I could not stay at High Point and I wanted to transfer schools. I applied to a local school near my hometown and received a scholarship that would pay for a big portion of my education for all four years. My dad drove seven hours to North Carolina to pick me up and we returned back to Pennsylvania. While we got most of the tuition money back, roughly $3000 was kept by the school
After moving into my new school, I finally feel at ease. La Roche University offered both pre-medicine and criminology. I began my first semester double majoring in criminology and biology but, after the first semester, I finally realized the information learned from Mr. Emslie was accurate and spot on. I withdrew from pre-medicine and I am now a full-time criminology major and could not be happier with this decision. I feel like I have my life back and am doing something I enjoy. I plan to go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation upon graduating from La Roche.
Without the help of Greg Emslie, I would still be lost. There is so much more than just figuring out “what college” to choose. There is also the decision of what major you will enjoy, have passion about and excel in based upon your interests, strengths, abilities and passion. It is important for students to take Mr. Emslie’s program so they can feel at ease with their college major decision. A lot of people will tell you, “Don’t worry about your major, you do not have to declare a major until the end of sophomore year in college.” Although this is true, waiting to figure it out could result in thousands of dollars wasted and extended time in school. In my case, this program gave me a clear answer about where I will succeed and be most happy in the future. If I would have initially listened to the information provided, I could have saved a lot of time, energy, stress, and money. This experience has taught me to follow your interests and skills, not the highest-paying job. It is an important lesson for students making the transition into college. Greg Emslie can assist students at any stage in their college path, and this program should be used more frequently by students.
— Lauren, Sophomore
High School Seniors and The Gap Year before College
In 2020, as COVID-19 has completely changed the face of how we go on with our lives, studies are indicating that as many as 35% of seniors are considering taking a year off before attending the college of their choice. Is taking a gap year the right thing to do?