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Andrew Hair

Exploration Specialist, University Advisement Center

Favorites:
Book: The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey
Movie: Avengers Endgame
Food: Yes
Animal: Pandas, but Platypi are a close 2nd.
Color: Royal Blue

Major Journey:

I didn't declare an official major until Fall 2020, but I've spent time investigating psychology, music, marketing, human resource management, information systems, accounting, pretty much every other business school major, psychology again, and family life. I'm pursuing a Family Life: Family Studies degree. My goal is to help people who are transitioning to adulthood prepare for and become successful in, their relationships, finances, career planning, and self-understanding, etc. I felt directionless and struggled mightily in all these areas, which is why I want to use what I know now to make the road from young students to thriving adults much less rocky for others.

Exploration Experience:

First, I joined clubs and experienced whether I liked the topics being talked about and whether I jived with the other students in the club. You'll likely be working with those similar to whoever attends, so feeling out the social environment is important.

Second, I spent a large amount of time on syllabi.byu.edu and the major course catalogues. For the same reasons you would job shadow someone in person to see their daily routine and what real life is like, I read week-by-week what I'd be reading and talking about in my classes by looking at recent syllabi. I perused the descriptions of the major's classes to gauge interest, and then deep dive into the specifics of the classes with their respective syllabus.

Third, and most important to me, I talked to people. All the people. Getting stuck in our own heads with all the misconceptions and negative things we falsely think about ourselves won't get us very far. At one point or another, it's important to counsel with the University Advisement Center, individual college advisement center, and trusted friends. The outside perspectives of trustworthy advisors about your thoughts are crucial to seeing yourself authentically. They are experienced at bouncing ideas off you, challenging your motivations, and helping you plan an ideal path. Chiefly, finding and talking to people who already have jobs (or lives) you are interested in and discovering how they got to where they are was one of the most insightful things I did. What I found out from them put me at ease with my decisions because the journey to where I wanted to go wasn't a mystery anymore.

Why is Exploring Important to Me?

In addition to just being fun, I think exploring brings with it a lot of confidence in your choice of direction. Even for someone who is positive, they have decided on a major, I'd advise them to still prune some branches while they prepare for the actual major classes of junior year. General Electives are a blessing because they allow you a good chunk of time to do prerequisites for a demanding major you may be set on, like math, while also providing enough space to try out a few classes in statistics or an engineering major that deals a lot with math. If you switch, your preparation in math will not have been lost time because your new major is related and you have become well-rounded. If you stay with math, you now know statistics or engineering was the wrong road for you, and you'll feel as though you can drive a little faster down the math road. Exploring the "what-ifs" of college will be very emotionally beneficial when you look at your choices as an upperclassman or graduate.

Looking Back:

There are so many resources available to you that you don't know about yet. Take the initiative and search them out. Talk to graduated students, peers, parents, advisors, and everyone else you can. You're trying to chop down a tree and if you think your personal axe alone is sufficient to get the job done, it may be. But imagine finding out there was a chainsaw nearby after hours of slow, ineffective progress. There are people around to help you, but it requires you to be proactive in searching them out and learning from them.

Does Pineapple Belong on Pizza?

Pineapple on pizza is like wearing shorts in winter. It looks funny, but it's actually pretty nice.

Some lessons I've learned:

  1. Many different majors can lead to one certain career. Anyone major can lead to many careers. 
  2. There is a path to the career and life you want, even if it is less structured, easy, and sure than you'd like. "Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you're right." 
  3. Explore in the right order. If you don't know who you are or why you want something, going over the catalogue of majors a thousand times likely won't help you how you want it to. Exploring isn't an isolated thing! Those in the advisement center do this for a living and we want to help you.  
  1. Remember BYU's motto of "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve". You and you alone own your time at BYU. It's up to you to create an experience that's not only enjoyable, but that will allow you to use your new knowledge and developing talents to bless your family and everyone else around you after graduation. 

Boring fact about you: I'm an only child, and I'm one of those people who put ranch on everything.

Hobbies:

In my free time, I like to listen to music and play the piano. I love all things basketball, and there's not much better than a movie or The Office with homemade popcorn.

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