Of all the posts I have made on this blog, I have yet to explain why I am studying communication for my bachelor’s degree. I think I once convinced myself that it was not an important detail or it wasn’t worth mentioning. Nevertheless, as each class goes by, I realize it’s not an utterly useless post. After all, this blog is a testament to my life and my past, present, and future experiences. Besides, the answer might surprise you.
As I’ve mentioned countless times, I studied English Literature in junior college, which I loved. I even considered studying English Literature for my bachelor’s degree. Actually, I would’ve double majored in English literature and communication had I stayed at the school I attended for a semester right after taking a gap year. But, that school simply wasn’t a good fit for me.
After weeks of searching and some more weeks filled with waiting for a new semester to roll around, I committed to a school. I found a university I liked and I stuck with communication. I chose to stick with communication because it deeply interested me. Plus, I knew I wanted the major to complement my associate’s degree.
At this new school, I had to decide between English and communication, unless I wanted to be there for years on end. I only take one class at a time since I work full-time as well. I knew myself well enough that I wanted a change of pace. Plus, I didn’t want an extremely specific degree. I thought communication was the happy medium—specific, yet general.
Most importantly, I chose to study communication, not because I have communication all figured out. I can assure you, I don’t. I chose to study it because I knew no matter what profession or career I had, I would need to communicate with others, whether it be face-to-face or virtually, or in a group or on a team.
I think a lot of people tend to believe, “Why in the world would someone need to study communication? We do it every day. It’s fairly common sense. There’s no need to devote an entire degree to it.” To those people, I say, we need to study communication because it is such a big part of our everyday lives.
In fact, I knew that if any part of me thought I was a good communicator, I needed to take the plunge.
I am about halfway through my degree plan and let me tell you, I am content with my choice. Although the degree has more busy work than I’d like, I have learned a great deal from it. Studying communication challenges me to find a better way to say something. It challenges me to constantly reflect on how my attitudes and behaviors affected an encounter.
It brings me out of my comfort zone. It brings my tendencies, behaviors, and thought attitudes to light. It humbles me and pushes me to be better. I am intentional about putting to use what I’ve learned. This degree isn’t just about me. It’s about myself and how I interact with others.
Now, I don’t think this degree of study is for everyone, but I do think everyone can grow in their communication skills with and without a degree. Nevertheless, I do think it is important to find a degree that excites you, yet also challenges you.
Furthermore, I challenge you to go outside of your comfort zone with your degree if at all possible, whether it is the school you attend or the way you obtain it (online or on campus). If it seems a little overwhelming or impossible at first, that probably means you are heading in the right direction.