Hopefully the title caught your attention. It was meant to be a little funny and purposefully vague, but it actually describes exactly what I’m going to talk about. Why write a story about majors this close to the end of the spring semester? I feel like there are a lot of people in the boat I used to be in, so maybe my struggle can help someone else. But first, I’m going to take a step back and describe someone else’s story.
There’s a woman I know who worked her tail off and got a computer science degree. She worked as a software developer for a little while, but ended up as one of my favorite English professors after deciding she wanted an MFA in creative writing. That is exactly the story I like to tell my parents as they judge me for my humanities degree that I’m working towards.
I started in the political science realm, and the words “science” and “politics” excited them a bit. They imagined me working in the government making change or reporting on policies as a journalist. Knowing after two and a half semesters that that wasn’t what I wanted, I switched to communications. They then envisioned me as a television news anchor, leading the communications department at a hospital or something like that. I was never going to be in STEM, that much was clear to them, but communications seemed like it could lead to at least some places.
My parents were, in all actuality, fairly supportive of these switches. I think believing that the humanities were a waste of time was in my own mind, but that was where my heart lay. When I switched out of communications, my mom actually encouraged the move to English. Though it was something warned against since middle school, we all knew that it was where I needed to head. And here’s the thing about this major: I actually feel like it’s for me.
Political science was for my dad, communications was an attempt at staying away from a “really useless major” and English was just surrendering to the fact that this is what I love. And I am definitely going to make the most of it.
If you have parents that pay for your education and thus dictate what you are majoring in, that’s rough. I think that’s the main reason my parents couldn’t really put up a fight - they don’t help me pay for any of my tuition.
Going back to the story of my professor, do we eventually just find what we love anyway? Are you continuing with your major because it will make you money, or because of parents’ pressure or any reason other than it’s what you love? You might not stick with it, if that’s the case. Or, you’ll hate your life. I’ve heard that story, too.
Don’t let other people dictate your major; do what you love. If you aren’t sure of what that is, start writing down the things you definitely do not want to do. Doctor, lawyer, software developer, teacher, puppeteer. Narrow it down. Make sure this is about you. Make sure that this is something you can see yourself doing for the next few decades. I fought it with all my power after being told that English is the most useless major, but it’s where I’m supposed to be. And I’m determined to be the best English major out there, so watch out.
Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.