Don't Fret, Entering College Undeclared is Normal

Ellen Angersbach '21 shares her story

Dec 4, 2021

What are you going to study in college? It's a question that seems to need an answer before starting your college search. But as alumna Ellen Angersbach '21 explains: "That's not the case." You, like Ellen, may also have an abundance of interests, making it hard to decide what you'll study for the next four years. And you know what? It's okay! Here at FSC, you can take the time you need to explore your many interests BEFORE choosing a major. 

The first thing Ellen did was take advantage of our many course offerings. At FSC, you can dabble in more than 70 majors, almost the same number of minors, and an array of pre-professional programs and career paths. She took classes in psychology, which allowed her to conduct research and present her findings at an Awareness Lectures on Psychedelic Science (ALPS) conference in New Orleans, LA, in 2020. She also took business courses that introduced her to some of the skills she'd need in the workplace, such as learning how to use Microsoft Excel. "The best part of these courses was the engaged learning aspect. With something like Excel, you really need to do the tasks to understand how to do them."

Ellen presenting in New Orleans.
Ellen (right) and her research team presenting at an Awareness Lectures on Psychedelic Science (ALPS) conference in New Orleans, LA

Ellen also used the clubs and student organizations on campus to further explore her interests and build her skills. She had an interest in psychology, so she joined the club. She was also interested in business, so she served on Delta Sigma Pi's (business fraternity) executive board. She also pledged a sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and held multiple jobs on campus. During her four years, she served as a Southern Ambassador, Scholars Weekend Coordinator, and Orientation Coordinator! "It was awesome to get that experience working with the team, presenting to prospective students and families, and learning new systems and processes," she says.

Ellen on safari in South Africa during her Junior Journey
Ellen on safari in South Africa during her Junior Journey.

Ellen also enjoyed partaking in FSC's most popular guarantee, the Junior Journey program which enabled her to travel to South Africa! "Traveling to South Africa was an amazing experience! We went on a safari and saw many animals in the wild, including lions, elephants, and baboons. The best part was meeting all of the wonderful people and experiencing the South African culture through food and conversation."

Ultimately, Ellen decided to double major in psychology and finance. But it’s diversity of her experiences that have allowed her to excel as an employee benefits analysis with USI Insurance Services in Tampa, FL. 

"Psychology fits into every aspect of life. As a psychology major, I learned how different people interact. I took a couple of industrial/organizational-related psychology courses to learn about leadership styles and employee motivation. The concepts I learned helped me work more effectively with different personalities and better understand my supervisors' leadership styles. My finance major relates more to the analytical side of my job. As a benefits analyst, I'm tasked with understanding quotes from insurance carriers to help explain them to clients. I would analyze economic trends or financial data in my finance classes and present my findings to my classmates, very similar to what I do every day at my job. It really is a perfect parallel!"

Ellen is proof that finding the right major isn't always a straight path. Ellen's journey included immersing herself in the Florida Southern community, creating not only a memorable college experience but propelling her into a career full of possibilities!

"I loved FSC because it was such an amazing community to learn and grow in. I had amazing experiences and have used everything I learned, including my internship, research, and study abroad, in my current job. I am very happy in this current role and can see myself staying here and moving up in the company, but I can also see myself combining my majors in a Human Resources role as well."