My First Year: A New Path

by · November 21, 2017

My name is Olivia Mulhern, and I am a sophomore here at the Mount. When I started at the Mount, I applied and was accepted into the Nursing program. Throughout high school, I felt like I was forced to have a career choice before the process of applying to college, which was stressful for me. However, I thought Nursing was my perfect career choice. I had the inspirations and grades for the program and career. Most importantly, I had the passion for it.

When I first started at the Mount, I was a commuter student. I would come to class to do what I needed to do, and then go home. I got great grades and passed all my nursing classes. The second semester, I moved onto campus and became a resident. I still did the same amount of studying and work that I had done the first semester. However, my Anatomy class was becoming challenging. I also began to face anxiety. It wasn’t just the anxiety you would get before an exam that you had to pass; this type of anxiety I couldn’t explain. Every morning I would have panic attacks and a feeling of defeat. I still completed the work I had to complete and still studied many hours a day, but my anxiety began to interfere with my grades in Anatomy, and I started to feel like it was my fault.

I want every incoming or current freshman to understand it is okay to not know what you want to do as your career for your first year or even your second year of college. If you have a feeling of change, don’t be afraid to follow your gut. As a result of my experiences, I changed my major at the end of my freshman year to Psychology and Human Services and will eventually get my Master’s in Social Work. I also have the goal of becoming a child life specialist. This change was one of the smartest decisions I have made here at the Mount – I still have the passion to help others as a career, and I can still do that with the major I am now pursuing.

The first year at college will be a lot of adjusting and finding yourself. I am glad I faced the challenges I have because I was able to find a career that I will love every day. I wake up every day happy and knowing how successful I am in all my classes. Don’t be afraid to change your major if your current one isn’t for you. Everything happens for a reason, and I promise it will all work out in the end. It might take more than one major change to find what you really want to do. The staff and faculty here at the Mount are very helpful, and they want the best for each student. College is about the experience, and the positivity it will have on your life.

Therefore, my biggest advice for first year college student’s is don’t feel like you must have your career choice made coming into college. If it doesn’t work out like you thought it would when making your decision in high school, talk to those around you. Your advisor will be able to help you with a decision and can even coach you to a new major. Don’t be afraid. Take each situation step by step and follow your heart. It will be the best and happiest experience you will face in college.

If you’re looking to change your major, the Office of Student Success
at the Mount can help!
Contact them at