In any program of study, diversifying your interests can be extremely beneficial. Many shy away from holding dual majors for fear of the increased workload and accompanying stress. As communication majors, already boggled down by infinite responsibilities and co-curricular activities, the idea of adding more seems daunting and absurd.
However, as a double major myself, I feel that the benefits far outweigh the struggles. Here are five reasons why you might consider reaching for that second degree:
You will witness two perspectives
Few things are more irritating to me than listening to public relations majors complain about journalism majors and vice versa. I abstained from the annual Society of Professional Journalists vs. Public Relations Student Society of America kickball game last year, simply because I was too caught in the middle. But by being so in the middle, I have learned how to communicate to each side much more effectively. I understand the difficulties faced by public relations students, and I understand the frustrations felt by journalism students. My double major has taught me empathy and insight that will be invaluable when I enter the professional world.
You will extra-build your résumé
It is great to have a sheet full of impressive PRSSA activities—but imagine having all of that, plus more. Whether your second interest is journalism, sports broadcasting, digital design or any other field, it is always better to showcase a wider variety of skills.
You become more marketable
Depending on what sector of public relations you wish to break into, double majoring could allow you to become well rounded enough to do so. For example, with public relations and journalism, I may be perfect for a position in media relations. If you are interested in working with a sports team, a second major in sports broadcasting/sports information could prove essential for you. Double majoring will not only show employers that you have a varied skillset, but it will also give you helpful knowledge to perform effectively in the public relations field.
You’ll meet more people
This can help you both professionally and personally. Not only can a double major help you build a directory of professional contacts, but it can also help you build as a person. In higher education, we can all facilitate personal growth. This becomes much easier if you find yourself surrounded by intelligent and enriching people—professors and fellow students alike—that leave a positive impact on your life.
You can discover yourself
You might have a talent or a passion that you have not even realized yet. College is one of the few chances you will have to really explore, with free reign and hundreds of introductory courses to choose from. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Like most who double major, I am stretched very thin on most days. But there is a reason why I stay up in the newspaper office to the early hours of the morning, attend every firm meeting and volunteer for each additional task. It is because I know that I am gaining something with each passing day, and I am grateful for the plethora of opportunities I am constantly given.
It certainly is not an easy path, but I think that everyone should at least consider double majoring. Take advantage of this time to explore your interests and expand your skills. It can only benefit you in the future.
Teghan Simonton is a sophomore with a dual major in public relations and journalism. She serves as the publicity chair for Waynesburg PRSSA and as managing editor for the award-winning Yellow Jacket student newspaper. She is an active member of Red Brick Communications and the Society of Professional Journalists. In her free time, Teghan is a member of the cross country and track teams.