Every time someone asks me about my college major or my future career plans, I have to stop myself from projectile vomiting everywhere. Now, whenever they ask me, I can just link them to this handy timeline that I’ve created regarding my journey of selecting a college major.
Freshman Year: “I love math and science! Yeah! I’m going to major in Biology (Pre-Med)!”
During my freshmean year of high school, one of my favorite subjects was biology. A lot of it had to do with the fact that my teacher was brilliant and immensely passionate about the subject, and got me really interested in it. However, all it took was Chemistry and AP Biology my sophomore year to dismantle my hopes of entering a field in the natural sciences.
Sophomore Year: “I hate science, but I love math! I’m going to major in Aerospace Engineering!”
Truth be told, until my junior year of high school, I was pretty freaking awesome at math. I led the Mathletes team, participated in AIME, and did a lot of other nerdy things. I skipped a year of math because I thought I was prepared and ahead of my classmates. I entered Calculus BC my junior year of high school, and realized that there was a limited extent to which I can grasp certain mathematical concepts. After atrociously failing the AP Calculus exam, I let go of my hopes of becoming an engineer.
Junior Year I: “Okay so I kind of sort of like math, maybe I’ll go ahead and major in Economics or Business!”
This was a very short phase. After realizing that although I was very good at quick-thinking and logic-based math but not very good at higher-level functions, I decided to pursue something in the Economics or Business related field. I attended a summer program at Yale University for law, political philosophy, and economics. As much as I loved the program, I ended up hating every single person I met there. Although it was most likely a misleading sample, I did not want to be surrounded by hyper-competitive, privileged, and pretentious asses in my future career field. To be fair, however, the stereotype of uptight businessmen probably exists for a reason.
Junior Year II: “Hmm… I can write really good (grammatical error intended), I should major in Journalism!”
One thing that was consistent throughout my high school career was that I was always complimented for my writing abilities, and that I enjoyed all of my English classes. However, when I wrote a few articles for my school newspaper, it absolutely infuriated me when my articles were edited by incompetent nutjobs who knew nothing about style and grammar. And then when I became the editor-in-chief of my school newspaper, it absolutely infuriated me when I was forced to sit and edit articles written by incompetent nutjobs who knew nothing about style and grammar.
Senior Year: “F*** everything, I’m just going to double major in Philosophy and Sociology!”
Despite my love for mathematics during my early years, I had always wanted to set myself apart from my brother, who was known in our school as a math and science prodigy. I joined the Philosophy Club, a unique feature of our high school that I eventually served as the president for my senior year. It provided me with phenomenal life opportunities, and as such, I ditched all of my previous plans. I decided to major in Philosophy and Sociology, and maybe become a lawyer (I may or may not have been influenced by watching a lot of Suits) or a high school teacher.
I had this vision of inspiring my students with the love for the arts and humanities, sort of like Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society, without the obnoxious imagery potentially embedded into your mind from Robin Williams’ terrible acting.
Anyways, I then realized: Most high school students today are absolutely nothing like the ones from the 1989 classic film. They are mostly bratty teenagers.
First Semester College: Welp, I don’t know what to do with my life, so I’ll just major in English!
Pretty much, I entered college knowing absolutely nothing at all whatsoever regarding what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I loved the Humanities and Social Sciences, so I tried to register a bunch of Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and English classes. Unfortunately, being the last block of registration for classes, I could not enroll in most of the classes I wanted to. I ended up with two English classes, and loved them both. And then I decided, “Eh, I might as well major in English.”
So that’s my story of how I began my high school career expecting to be a doctor and ended up a clueless English major. Technically, I’m not allowed to declare my major until second semester my sophomore year, so who knows how many times I’ll change my major between now and then. My guess is around six more times. In fact, I’m actually sort of looking into Computer Science right now!
Tune in soon to hear some tips on selecting a major without turning your life into a complete trainwreck like me!