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Meza 1 Melissa Meza Professor Ludlow-Mattson ENG 114 13 December 2013 Should I Double Major?

1 What I know is, I am a freshman at San Francisco State University and I still have plenty of time to decide what I want to do career-wise. I know that I first want to work towards earning a Bachelors Degree of Science in Nursing in order to become a Registered Nurse. Eventually, I want to earn a Masters Degree in order to become a Nurse Practitioner. What I also know is, I want to work towards earning another degree because I want obtain different career options. Nursing is an impacted major in California and it could be quite challenging to find nursing job positions. If I were to find myself in the situation in which I am unable to obtain a job after I graduate from college, I would have no other career to fall back on to. I know that I want to work towards earning another major of a subject that I truly enjoy. I do not want to earn other majors solely for the credits or for the prestige of their titles. I want to earn a degree that I am truly passionate about and determined to accomplish, just as I am passionate and determined about nursing. What am I passionate about other than nursing? Upon writing and thinking about this question, I do not need to think twice about what my answer could possibly be. Since elementary school, I have always enjoyed writing. I can clearly recall that I would always spend an excess amount of time on any writing assignment. As soon as my pencil would touch the paper, I would

Meza 2 write continuously until I was forced to stop. Up until this day, I continue to practice such habit. Once I am given or think about a topic for a writing assignment, I am able to create works in which I put my best effort forth. Even many of my teachers, including my elementary and high school English teachers, acknowledged that my final works for writing assignments are of good quality. Although I do know that I want to work towards earning another major, it was not until recently that I decided what the other major was going to be. At first, I was very uncertain about whether I wanted to earn a secondary major in Creative Writing or in Journalism. Both majors had always caught my attention, but I was unsure about which major fulfilled my interests the most. Ultimately, I decided that my secondary major would be journalism. I chose this major over the former one because I have always been a person who has enjoyed being aware of my surroundings, or news within my community and around the world. I have never been the type of writer who enjoys writing my own stories. Nevertheless, I do not enjoy writing poems and I am not the biggest fan of literature writing. 2 Now, the question is how will finding more about double majoring in journalism make a difference in my life? I want to know whether or not I will be able to double-major in both nursing and in journalism. I know that a lot of people have been able to successfully double major, but I want to know if I can accomplish this. As I work towards a double major, I want to be able to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to all of my classes in order to earn good grades, get into San Francisco State Universitys Nursing Program, and to graduate in exactly four years. I want to learn about the requirements to earn a major in journalism in order to

Meza 3 determine if it will conflict with the requirements of the Nursing Program. Ultimately, my research will have a large impact in my life because it will allow me determine whether or not I will double-major in nursing and in journalism. Being able to double-major will provide a greater amount of employment options as well as job opportunities, which will prevent me from being limited to working in only a single career field. 3 I began my search by doing some research on the San Francisco State Universitys website. The first thing that I looked up was the roadmap of earning a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. The purpose of looking up this roadmap was to determine whether or not the requirements to major in journalism conflicted with the requirements of my schools Nursing Program. By doing this research I discovered that the General Ed classes did not conflict with the pre-requisites of the Nursing Program. However, the remainder of the required courses did conflict with one another. For example, the roadmap of the Nursing Program indicates that during my fifth semester of college I should enroll in classes such as Nursing Skills Lab, Pharmacology, and Health Assessment Skills Lab. In the contrary, the roadmap for a degree in journalism indicates that during my fifth semester in college I should take classes such as Digital News Gathering, Reporting, and Editing. If I really want to graduate with a Bachelors Degree of Science in Nursing in exactly four years, then I will be unable to earn a degree in journalism simultaneously. Discovering this made me quite upset, but I was not willing to give up on my goal of earning another degree in journalism. After thorough consideration, I decided that I will work towards earning a minor in journalism, instead. I decided to work towards a minor because doing

Meza 4 so will allow me to work towards a Bachelors Degree for nursing simultaneously. In addition, working towards earning a minor will prepare me to earn a Bachelors Degree for Journalism in the future if I want to proceed to work towards my original goal. After deciding what I would do as an alternative, I researched the roadmap for a minor in journalism in my colleges website. Surprisingly, I discovered that only seven courses, a total of twenty-one units, are required in order to earn a minor in journalism. Learning this information made me quite content because it will be much more feasible for me to earn a minor in journalism while majoring in nursing. Once I had decided that I would work towards a minor in journalism, I went to a Freshmen Advising Event that was being held in our campus. The purpose of this event was for school advisors to help freshmen choose their classes for the following semester. Upon attending this event, I decided that I would ask the advisor questions about majoring in nursing and working towards a minor in journalism. I do no remember the name of the advisor that helped me choose my classes for the following semester, but she was very helpful and had a strong sense of motivation with regards to my goal. After she helped me in deciding what classes to take the following semester, I proceeded with my questions. Would you recommend me to work towards earning a minor? Yes, especially since nursing is an impacted major. It is always good to have many options rather than to be limited to only one. In order to earn a minor, can I attend a community college and transfer the units? You can transfer the units as long as the units in the community college that you attend are equivalent to the units required at San Francisco State.

Meza 5 How can I declare that I want to minor in journalism? You must go to the Registrars Office and ask for a declaration of a minor application. You must then go to the head of the journalism department, tell him your plans, and ask him to sign your application. Once you have completed these steps, you can turn in the application back to the Registrars Office. I was content with the answers that the advisor had provided because they were similar to the reasons of why I wanted to double-major in the first place, which is that I want to have several career options in the future rather than to be restricted to only one. These answers also allowed me to verify that I can work towards earning a minor in a community college that is closer to my home. Being able to complete such courses will allow me to work towards a minor during the summer. In addition, I also learned the process that I must complete in order to declare that I do want to earn a minor. The more that I learned about the requirements in order to earn a minor in journalism: the more questions that came to mind. I wanted to learn the skills required in order to become a journalist, the job possibilities for individuals with a minor in journalism, and the average salary of a journalist. I began to look for the answers of these questions by doing some research in the internet. I concluded that I would get the most accurate answers by looking at a variety of sources rather than limit my search to a single source. I wanted to get more accurate answers because I was genuinely beginning to grow more passionate towards my new goal. First, I researched the skills that were required for journalism because I wanted to know if I possess such skills. According to a blog post on WordPress named, The skills you need to be a journalist today, a journalist must be able to do efficient research, be energetic and passionate

Meza 6 about this career, and must be able to quickly adapt to technological changes (Linabary). An article posted by the International Journalists Network named, Skills every aspiring journalist should learn, stated that a journalist should be able to connect to a reader through what he/she writes. The article also stated that journalists should be able to think critically, collect, analyze, and interpret data that catches the attention of readers (Breiner). The third source that I found was an article published by the PBS website named, What Skills Will Future Journalists Need?. According to this website, future journalists should be able to multitask among writing and acquiring a greater amount of information about a specific topic that is being covered or different topics and should be able to write efficiently through the use of technology (Ordonez). Upon learning about the skills that modern journalist must possess, I realized that I possess many of these skills. I am able to communicate with the audience through my works, I have good critical thinking skills, I am a great and responsible multi-tasker, and I am truly passionate about this career. However, I do need to acquire a certain skill, which is to gain more knowledge and become more accustomed to using different types of new and developing technology. However, I do not see this as a problem because I am passionate about and determined to accomplish my goal. Second, I wanted to learn about job possibilities for individuals with a minor in journalism and their average salaries. According to several websites of different colleges such as the universities of Wisconsin-Stout University, Carnegie Community Engaged University, and Sacramento State University individuals with a minor in journalism are able to increase their job opportunities. Individuals with a minor in journalism are able to work as writers, newspaper or magazine editors, public relations, and radio or televisions hosts. According to an article published eHow, the Bureau Labor of Statistics states that the average salary for a journalist was

Meza 7 $34,850 (Kelley). Another article that was published by About.com stated that the average salary for small reporters, or reporters who report for solely local newspapers, was about $20,000 (Rogers). By learning this information I became excited to think of the many great opportunities that earning a minor could offer. I also did not think that the average salary was too bad. 4 By doing this research I learned a lot of great and upsetting information. Sadly, I learned that for the moment, I will not be able to work towards earning a Bachelors Degree in Journalism if I want to graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Nursing in exactly four years. However, I learned that even though I will not be able to work towards earning a major for journalism, yet, I will be able to work towards earning a minor. Earning a minor in journalism will prepare me to earning a Bachelors Degree in the future. I am going to be able to earn a minor in journalism by taking the required course throughout my four years at San Francisco State University and by attending a community college in which the units can be transferred to San Francisco State University. I also learned about the essential skills that journalists should possess. I was very excited to find out that I possess many of the skills required for journalists such as critical thinking skills and being able to communicate with the readers through my writing. I also learned about the great amount of job opportunities that earning a minor in journalism offers. By doing this research, I became increasingly excited about earning a minor in journalism and possibly earning a Bachelors Degree after I obtain a Bachelors Degree for nursing. I am now more motivated and more passionate than I ever was before to accomplish my goals of not only becoming a nurse, but also becoming a journalist. Throughout this process I learned that I will work hard to major in nursing and earn a minor in journalism.

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Bibliography: Breiner, James. "Skills every aspiring journalist should learn." ijnet. n. page. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. <http://ijnet.org/blog/skills-every-aspiring-journalist-should-learn>. Kelley, Pat. "How Much Do Journalists Get Paid?." eHow. n. page. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/info_8326052_much-do-journalists-paid.html>. Linabary, Jasmine. "The skills you need to be a journalist today." WordPress. n. page. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <http://todaysjournalist.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/the-skills-youneed-to-be-a-journalist-today/>. Ordonez, Sandra. "What Skills Will Future Journalists Need?." PBS. n. page. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. <http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/06/what-skills-will-future-journalistsneed160/>. Rogers, Tony. "Journalism Salaries." Abour.com. n. page. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. <http://journalism.about.com/od/careersinjournalism/a/salaries.htm>. "Academic Minor in Journalism." University of Wisconsin Stout. n. page. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. <http://www.uwstout.edu/programs/minors/jrnlsm/>. "BS Degree in Nursing." San Francisco State University BS Degree. n. page. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. <http://www.sfsu.edu/~admisrec/reg/roadmaps/2013382303.pdf>. "BS Degree in Journalism." San Francisco State University BS Degree. n. page. Web. Dec. 02 2013. <http://www.sfsu.edu/~admisrec/reg/roadmaps/2012475505.pdf>. "Journalism Opportunities & Resources." IPFW.edu. n. page. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. <http://www.ipfw.edu/departments/coas/depts/communication/opportunities/journalism.h tml>. "JOURNALISM." Sacramento State University Catalog. n. page. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. <http://catalog.csus.edu/current/programs/jour.html>. "Journalism." SF State Bulletin 2013-2014. n. page. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. <http://www.sfsu.edu/~bulletin/current/programs/journal.htm>.

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