Three of a kind, Junior student tackles a triple major
By Madison Santos
Choosing a major is a critical and often difficult decision college students must make. Many students fear that they will choose the wrong one, have to switch their major and then be stuck in college for longer than intended. One student, however, who has no problem staying in college for as long as necessary is junior Michelle Hensle. She will be studying at Northern Arizona University (NAU) for more than four years before getting her degree — better yet, her three degrees.
“I knew I wanted a double major so I decided to do marketing and advertising,” Hensle says, “and if you have an advertising degree it’s only a couple classes away from having a PR degree (public relations), so I was like ‘well I might as well major in PR too’.”
As if triple majoring is not enough, Hensle also works 20 hours a week as a server at San Felipe’s Cantina and she is in the sorority Pi Beta Phi.
Having so much on her plate, Hensle is grateful that her manager at San Felipe’s is often flexible with her schedule.
“When I am at work I am at work,” Hensle says, “I am not thinking about what I have to do when I get home. I am not thinking about what my friends are doing. I’m not doing homework or thinking how I have school tomorrow.” She explains that having this mindset helps her stay sane. “It sounds cheesy, but I just try to live in the moment.”
Believe it or not, Hensle does not even own a planner, but she says it is on her list to get one eventually.
“It’s really fun to see the shock on people’s faces when I tell them I am triple majoring,” Hansle says, “but I really like what I am doing so far.”
Hensle was a sophomore when she decided she was going to be at NAU for a long time.
“I’m going to be taking some summer school and maybe some winter school to catch up,” Hansle says, ”but I am on like the five year plan.”
Ultimately Hensle likes the idea of having three majors that relate to each other because it will allow her to be more diverse.
“Just being able to go into a job interview and have them see I have advertising experience but I can also do public relations and marketing,” Hansle says, “I don’t really see the point of minors; I just don’t really understand them, so I would rather just triple major.”
In an article on the website for Bowdoin College in Maine, John Turner, a professor of romance languages, shares his opinion about having multiple majors.
“Good minds are often drawn in many different directions,” Turner says. He believes that a pair of majors provides the opportunity to study different areas and explore the connections between them.
“If one is good,” Hansel says, ”two is better.”
Having three majors requires dedication, and Hensle says she has always been a driven person.
“I have always really liked to read and learn about stuff, and I always took honors and AP classes in high school,” Hansle says, “My parents knew that I would push myself, so they never really had to push me to do anything because I would do things on my own.”
Growing up with a brother 10 years older than her was almost like growing up as an only child, and though she got bored easily she learned to be very independent.
“It’s funny because my brother dropped out of college after three years because he got a really good job offer,” Hansle explains. Despite dropping out, her brother is very successful and now owns two businesses. “My parents know that I am not that person; like I need something concrete like a degree.”
Hensle admits that while her parents are very supportive, she is also very stubborn.
“I think they have come to the realization that if I am going to do something, no matter what they say, I am going to do it,” Hansle says. “It’s a bit of a give and take.”
Although she is in no hurry to graduate on time, her goal after college is to work at some kind of advertising firm, and eventually be manager.
“My ultimate dream is to be able to work for a company that lets me work from home,” Hansle says.
At the end of the day, Hensle is happy with her decision to triple major and she is currently looking for scholarships to help her with the next few years of college.
“I feel like you have to have kind of an easy going personality, because it is a lot of work,” Hansle says. “If you get stressed out easily, you are not going to have a good time.”