My freshmen year. Me. Wanted to do a single major and study things that interested me. (Well meaning) advice I got – don’t do that. Add accounting as your major. It helps get you an internship. It will be safe.
Sophomore year. I want to try for front office in banking. Others. Don’t. It is good to be ambitious. But you probably won’t get it. Also apply for back office.
After doing two back office jobs, I KNOW I don’t want to do this anymore. I feel suffocated. Thus, I decided I am going to start my own company. I am also going to do a Kickstarter campaign at the same time for fun.
Now. I am taking Graphic Design as my fifth course, where I learn new thing every class. I took Nationalism and Revolution (gave me a completely different perspective), e-business (crappy class, didn’t learn anything useful), industrial/organizational psychology (dropped out, yeah, the class was that bad!) and feel much better than I would have had I added accounting as a major. Being the rebel that I always have, I am the only one among the people I know who has one major with no minors. Absolutely no regrets.
The piece of advice that I give to freshmen if they are (remotely) interested in Computer Science is to learn to code. The practical side. I wish I had received that advice 3 and half years ago rather than accounting; I would have been eternally grateful. I am telling my brother too to be open to learning to code. There is a big demand for programmers, especially in New York.
On the other hand, following one’s passion so much harder than said. I understand that I am taking even more risk than a typical entrepreneur wannabe as I have just 12 months of OPT to stay in the country after I graduate. However, the difference between most people is the ones that talk and those that execute. I at least will not be looking back at the forgone opportunity, unlike a couple people of people that I know have done. If I am not able to get my company started, I will work in a startup that I know will love working at. But no corporate jobs.
Being practical makes sense to a lot of people because you want security. Thus the only factor stopping you from following your passion is, you. Just YOU. If you want to follow your passion, Just Do It!