I chose the college that I went to because it had a graphic design major and a Spanish minor. My plan was to somehow incorporate graphic design into mission work somewhere in Latin America. It didn't take me long into my college career to realize that perhaps I didn't enjoy graphic design quite as much as I thought I did. Certainly not enough to pursue as a career. And so I decided to change to photography, which I thought would be different. However, two years and a third major later, I was in my junior year and again feeling as though I still hadn't arrived at the right fit.
Eventually I settled on Family and Consumer Sciences, which I chose before I even knew what is was. It’s the conclusion that I arrived at while praying with and receiving suggestions from friends. Upon doing some research, it did seem like it might make sense in mission work even though I didn’t know at that point exactly what kind of mission work I wanted to do. When translated into something people have actually heard of, Family and Consumer Sciences means Home Ec, or how to run a home. I didn’t know how exactly it would apply, but I figured it would at least be more relevant than graphic design.
The type and location of ministry that I'm doing now is a lot different than I would have expected going into college. I'm still trying to figure out how exactly my major relates to campus ministry. There are areas where it sort of applies, but nothing much more than that. The classes that do seem to be the most relevant for ministry were the ones that I took for fun—such as Basic Counseling, Jewish Literature, and Sacred Books of the World.
Perhaps more than anything else, my major taught me skills that I can use as connection points with students. Some of the skills that I learned in my classes have become hobbies, and that kind of thing can be used as things to do together. Perhaps things like cooking and sewing together aren't specifically discipleship, but they are ways of having fun, connecting relationally, and building community outside the normal setting.
One other super practical class I took was called Relationships and Personal Development. This class focused on learning how to empathize, communicate feelings, and resolve conflict. These are all super relevant to skills to have in ministry and life in general, and I think that they have helped me become a better communicator.
My degree isn't the most relevant in terms of traditional employment. I'm still very much trying to figure out why I felt like this is where God wanted me. So far it’s provided me with opportunities to build community and tools to use in communication, which are both super applicable in ministry. I'm excited to see how it continues to play out in what I am doing now and in the future.