A Day in the Life of a Criminal Justice Major
FREEZE! Put your hands behind your head—now lie down on the ground. You have the right to remain silent...
Welcome to the life of a Criminal Justice major. No, I haven't used those lines on anyone yet. But maybe someday!
How do I explain my own major? I guess with classes first. Being a CJ major is pretty much the most awesome experience I've ever had. I mean, what other major lets you examine a crime scene that your classmates have set up? CJ majors get really creative putting together crime scenes and making them as realistic as possible.
I have learned so much from classes such as parole and probation, juvenile delinquency, security, and victimology. They are just so practical to the field. In one of my classes, we had a polygraph expert come in and explain how the procedure worked. We also had two officers come in and explain the interview process, giving us information that will set us ahead of the rest after we graduate.
On top of all our great classes, we also get to have hands-on experiences through practicums. These are internships with agencies here in the Pensacola area or back home, either in the summer or during the school year. They give us an insight into different fields related to criminal justice.
I did my first practicum/internship at home with my local police department. The experience had a huge influence on my life. I did over 30 hours of ride alongs with the officers. Chasing speeders, responding to medical emergencies, and other calls always got my adrenaline pumping. The experience really helped me get insight into what the future might hold.
I also had the opportunity to help direct traffic at Pensacola Christian Academy for a semester. At first, I wasn't looking forward to it, but after starting, I realized how crucial it was to keep things flowing smoothly. At the end of the semester, I looked back and was glad I had the chance to help and to gain experience.
This past semester, I volunteered with a local ministry in Pensacola fighting human trafficking. My practicum experiences have been wide and diverse.
Lastly, my most memorable experience: I went to jail. No, I didn't commit any crimes if that's what you were thinking! We just took a field trip there to see how it all worked.
Overall it's been a great experience in the Criminal Justice major and one I will never forget.1