My MAJOR Dilemma
It was the summer before college applications. I don’t know why it annoyed me, and still does, but I disliked it it when I would get asked by someone how my senior year and college applications were going. The general trend commenced with their peppy comment ‘Excited it’s your last year?’, to which I would respond ‘Yes, of course’, a little bit of small talk was habitual, maybe including questions about plans for the summer, a bunch of ‘high school lasts’, where I was applying, etc.; finally, they would ask it…the big question… ‘What are you planning to major in?’ I don’t know why, but it grated on my patience…just a little. I promise I am not a horrible person, but it still irked me. How did they expect me…a girl ‘wet behind the ears’ have planned everything out to the T and know what I wanted to do with my life? Okay, fine, I am being a little dramatic, they really meant well, but I didn’t like being reminded that I didn’t know what my purpose or direction was. Still, I would force a smile, shrug my shoulders and reply with a quick answer: ‘I have no clue.’ To which they would smile knowingly and reply, ‘Oh, that’s okay honey; I still don’t know what I am doing either.’ Instead of comforting me, this would immediately bring on more anxiety and force me to think: Gosh… there is no hope for resolution.
When it came to finally choosing and applying to colleges, I was flipping though a Vanderbilt pamphlet and found out that Vanderbilt has four different undergraduate schools: Blair School of Music, College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences and Peabody College of Education and Human Development. What was really interesting to me was that you could take classes in all the colleges and major or double major in more than one college. It was perfect, for a confused girl like me. So, I decided before coming, to try out at least one class in each the college. Who knows, I thought, maybe it might help me narrow down my choices.
Through the semesters, I took Biomedical Engineering classes, Human Development classes, Economics classes, Child Development Classes, Math Classes, Biology Classes, and more. You name the major and I probably looked into it. I don’t know if its the wisest thing to do, but it was the wisest thing for me. I had always imagined myself in a variety of jobs and idealized certain majors. But through this, I was able to appreciate and experience the wide variety of individuals at our university. My colleagues’ passion for their futures and prospective careers made me realize that I would find my niche and that I should not settle for anything less.
I declared my major about a month ago, and I couldn’t be more excited about the path that I am on. There is definitely no certainty, and honestly, I don’t think there ever will be, but the important thing is that Vanderbilt has provided me with the tools necessary. It not a place that cookie cuts you into the role of a “Mathematician”, “Scientist”, or “Economist” but allows you to find your strengths as an individual and develop them with the with the variety of resources available. Its not that I need to have my future all figured out and then prepare for it systematically, because I don’t know what the future may bring. Instead, I am going to equip myself to deal with whatever situation that life my lead me to. Who knows, you might be a Special Education Teacher with a particular affinity for European History and a unique talent for playing the violin. But, you will never know until you try.