BA in English, Minor in Educational Studies 2014
School of Education
December 1, 2013
“I help students like me figure out what they want to focus on during their time at UCI.”
I initially decided to attend UCI to be a part of its unique Criminology program. Little did I know that my time here would cause me to change not only my major, but also my entire life plan. After mentally changing my major countless times (from Studio Art to Civil Engineering and everywhere between), I finally settled on English. After some reflective self-evaluation, I also decided to add the Education minor. This process took me from about winter quarter of my freshman year until fall quarter of my junior year, with numerous visits to academic counselors, career counselors, and the UC Irvine catalogue. Sometimes I still am not sure if I chose correctly, but I do know that I’m happy with my decision and my current plan (which, like my major, is likely to change several more times before I am done with graduate school).
This anxiety-riddled process is what inspired me to become a Peer Academic Advisor. I wanted to help students like me figure out what they wanted to focus on during their time at UCI, and how to go about doing that. Now I have that chance every week in the Student Affairs Office in the School of Education. I have found that students often consider their major to be a defining aspect of their character and their future; I had the same belief. But while you can certainly go into a career that is directly correlated to the degree with which you graduate, it is by no means a requirement.
Students come in to our office trying to decide if the field of education is the right path, and if their current major will allow them to pursue that field; and in some form, it usually does. I am able to get them on track to meet their goals and (hopefully) relieve some stress caused by this common college identity crisis. Whether they want to add the Education minor, prepare for our Credential programs, or just figure out if the field of education is for them, I have the incredible opportunity—and similar background—to help these students find comfort in where they are in college and in life.
While I am considering continuing on with academic or career counseling, my current plan is to get a credential to teach English, and ultimately go on to teach future instructors in student writing development and competence. As satisfied as I am with this choice, UCI is still changing me and adding to my perspective; and before I graduate, my plans might still change again. Either way, I hope to use this experience to help students in whichever field I find myself.