More Than Minor Changes

By Alyssa Negele

Graphic by Rip Kal

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Here’s to a wild journey that brought me to learn my love for journalism:

And So It Begins…

When I applied to California State University, Long Beach back in 2016, I thought that I wanted to become an elementary school teacher someday. That being said, I applied to the liberal studies department. While I was stoked to have been accepted into the program, my excitement as a pre-liberal studies major was incredibly short-lived—and I’m not exaggerating. 

The summer before my freshman year, I began questioning what I saw myself doing for a career after college. I decided that my lack of patience and disinterest in the idea of working in a classroom for the rest of my life was not going to be best tested as an elementary school teacher. 

With that in mind, I began to brainstorm all over again.

Passion for Fashion?

After researching different majors offered at CSULB, I decided that I wanted to change my major from liberal studies to fashion merchandising, so I made the change official at my freshman SOAR orientation day. I mean, I love clothes, so why wouldn’t I major in fashion? At least that’s what I thought at the time. 

From my freshman to my sophomore year, I took fashion class after fashion class, but never felt completely fulfilled. I loved the content I was learning, but I felt like I needed more. This inspired me to apply for an internship. 

If you’ve ever heard horror stories about fashion internships where you are actually a coffee grabbing, clothing-steaming slave, I’m living proof that those exist. Interning with this “celebrity fashion stylist” was honestly a terrible experience. I realized that I wasn’t in fashion merchandising with the desire to become a stylist. 

So where did this leave me? 

Since my initial desire to someday become a celebrity fashion stylist died—along with my soul—in that horrible experience of an internship, I decided to add a minor in fashion design with the intention of doing something along the lines of clothing construction instead. Cool, right? Well, the only problem was that this required sewing. Being someone who wants to rip her hair out just thinking about using a sewing machine, maybe this wasn’t the best idea. 

Now, as a confused sophomore, I decided once again to change direction.


I consider myself to be business-minded in nature, so I assumed that adding marketing as a minor would be a good plan. This decision came at a time when I began to question the thought of any sort of fashion-related career. 

Sure, declaring marketing as a minor was a “good” plan, but I had zero passion for the idea of actually taking marketing courses. Did I truly see myself loving joining a brand’s advertising team? Not particularly. Am I gifted in math, where I could excel in analytics and finance? Definitely not. It was then time to change my minor all over again. 


Journey to Journalism

I was feeling very defeated with these crazy changes to my schedule and life, so I decided to write about it. At that point, I wasn’t ready to make any more schedule changes without fully thinking it through first, so I literally wrote about it. 

I sat down with a notebook and pen, and just came to terms with my predicament by letting my thoughts flow out onto the pages. It was right then and there that I discovered my absolute love for writing. I am someone who loves to talk, the media, and most importantly, all things journalism-related. It was that realization that brought me to the decision to pick up journalism. 

Rather than keeping my major as fashion merchandising and minoring in journalism, I thought that I would be better off with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a minor in fashion merchandising, so I did exactly that.

Almost There

At this point, I am in my first semester of my senior year as a journalism major with only four courses left in my workload. While it has been a wild ride, I have somehow managed to complete all of my requirements a semester before my proposed graduation date — and I am absolutely loving it. I never would have dreamed that I’d able to do all of this while still graduating at only 21 years old. That being said, it is possible and more importantly, it was absolutely worth it.