Thursday, December 13th, 2018

“What’s My Major?” Media Writing, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Posted on November 09, 2018 in Community
By USM Free Press

Alana Poulin, her field of study is occupational therapy.
Photo Courtesy of Alana Poulin
Alana Poulin, her field of study is occupational therapy.
Lian Lin, her field of study is physical therapy.
Photo Courtesy of Lian Lin
Lian Lin, her field of study is physical therapy.

By Asha Tompkins, Community Editor

If you’re not sure what major to choose, or you’ve joined a major that sounds good but you can’t choose a specific field of study, then don’t worry: you’re not alone. The Free Press will randomly choose a few students on a weekly basis to explain what their major is in a time limit of 25 seconds. Their descriptions of why they chose that major might help you decide what career path is best for you.

Steven Johnson

Major: Media Studies

Field: screenwriting/media writing

“Media studies is pretty multifaceted, it depends on which route you want to go with it,” said Johnson. “For me, it’s screenwriting or media writing. I’m still figuring out which of the two I want to do.”

He explained that you can learn a lot about different forms of media work, such as TV, movies, social media and how to make your own work and how to critique other people’s work.

“Media has always been something I’ve been passionate about,” said Johnson. “I grew up on movies and TV and I didn’t even start [with a major] in media studies; I started out with sports management, then communications, then I wanted to get more specific so I did media studies. I wanted to do something in movies and TV and I think it’s the best opportunity for me to do that.”

The ability to tell a story that can connect with people is what draws Johnson to movies. He likes movies that make him think and feel.

“To be able to do that to another wide audience of other people would be something that I’m really excited to do,” Johnson said.

He stated that media is a part of everyone’s lives. For example, social media, Netflix and other streaming sites.

“There’s a lot to not only learn about how the industries work, but what you can do within it,” said Johnson. “I think there’s a huge place [media platforms] for providing a platform for your own voice and using it to connect with other people.”

Lian Lin

Major: Health Sciences

Field: Physical Therapy

“My major is health science, which is basically for anyone who wants to go in the medical field but isn’t sure exactly what they want to do yet,” said Lin. She said she is interested in going into the physical therapy program.  “I chose that because it’s a job in the medical field that doesn’t require math on a daily basis… and they make a lot of money.”

Lin said that she wanted to do something dynamic and social, similar to hospital work, but in physical therapy there is “more gratification.”

“You know they’re going to physically recover eventually and so it’s emotionally rewarding,” said Lin. “I would say it’s a job for a people-person. You have to be good with talking to people and social interaction type-stuff because you’re going to be working closely with clients and helping them recover, you’ll go through their frustrations and stuff so you have to be open-minded and good with people. So, if that’s not your thing, don’t do it.”

She job-shadowed a physical therapist and decided that it was a great day-to-day job, however, she was unsure of the physical therapy program details.

“I don’t know that much on physical therapy, I should probably do more research on it. But, I’m only doing physical therapy for the materialistic pros,” said Lin. “I feel that i’m a little scared that at some point I’m going to get bored, like ‘I actually don’t like this, I’m only doing it for the money, I’m going to die old and unhappy,’ but we’ll see.”

Alana Poulin

Major: Health Sciences

Field: Occupational Therapy

“Health science is a very broad major to go into, because you can go into various fields. I’m doing occupational therapy (OT),” said Poulin. “OT is a type of therapy in which you help people regain their daily functions.”

Poulin explained that it differs from physical therapy, which focuses on one specific area of the body. Occupational therapy focuses on the entire body itself.

“You work with various age groups and whatnot, just helping regain mobility. With the elderly, you might help with mobility and balance. With pediatrics it might be specifically for diseases and things of that nature,” Poulin said.

She originally wanted to go into nursing, or become a doctor, but Poulin found that OT was a better fit due to the fact that it’s only a five year program for a masters degree.

“I thought that going into the field where it helps people regain their life–or gain their mobility so they can have a better standard of living–intrigued me, instead of working in a hospital setting where you don’t know [their struggles],” said Poulin. “You’re on the other end of things, helping people go back out [into daily life].”

Poulin wanted to go into the medical field to serve people, something hands-on. She said that you can serve people in any way with any job, but the medical field has a steady, ongoing demand for jobs.

“Technology is always advancing, so if you want a job that’s secure and stable I think that anything in the health field is good. It’s something that you can always rely on,” said Poulin. “I think the biggest thing is that you don’t want to go to school for four to five years and then not know if you can get a job and not know how much [money] you’re going to make.”

She said that in OT, you can figure out where you want to live, find the range of what type of salary you might make and “find a job that you could see yourself in.”

“Being able to reflect on what my major is and why I chose it motivates me more in the long term reason for going to college,” said Poulin. “It’s easy to get frustrated with classes and think that nothing is affecting my major and what not, just having a five year plan or kind of talking about the future just helps rebuild the motivation to continue and push through classes that right now I might not think have much impact, but could have an impact on me years down the road.”

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