“Why don’t we go around the room…”
“And we each say our name…”
Oh okay, I can do that.
“Where we’re from…”
Just remember to say “Miami, Florida, not Ohio.” Someone always chuckles.
“And of course our major!”
And there it is. Just like that. Just when I thought I could get through a single introduction without the dreaded m-word or even a day without thinking about it, it’s crept back into my life. As a second semester freshman, if there’s one thing I’ve already learned at college, it’s that you can’t meet new people (whether they’re peers, professors, fellow party attendees) without discussing degrees. You can’t run. You can’t hide. Major talk (dun dun dun) is truly everywhere.
And my question is: why?
Maybe I’m naive or I’ve watched way too many teen movies in my lifetime (…that’s definitely true actually), but I’ve always thought the purpose of college was to discover who you are and what you’re good at/passionate about. Apparently, though, we’re all supposed to have these things predetermined. Even worse, we’re supposed to be able to sum up our talents, interests, and aspirations with a single world, such as “advertising” or “engineering” or “philosophy.”
I can’t even choose one word to describe the Georgetown cupcake I ate on my nineteenth birthday last week.
I think that’s the problem, though. No matter how grown up and mature I like to claim I am, I’m still just a teenager, and society loves to ignore that. At least that’s how I like to justify the evidently judgmental expressions I receive whenever I dare say I’m undecided. There just seems to be a social stigma that anyone who’s in college without a set plan has a one-way ticket to Loserville. People can’t help thinking this way. Our world values structured education too much for them not to.
The funny thing is I also used to pity students in my current position, and I’ve realized I’m undeclared now because I myself value education so much. When I applied for college last year, I didn’t hesitate to check public relations as my intended major. I can’t say I was certain PR was the career for me, but I definitely didn’t want to be the applicant who didn’t know what she wanted to do. Upon starting college, though, I quickly came to realize that the only thing I truly knew I wanted to do was learn. I wanted to learn about communication, to be exact. All of the different possible career paths within this vast field. All of the skill sets needed to follow any one of them. All of the incredible things past COM students have done that I could one day do, too. I also immediately liked the idea of dabbling in other subjects. Jewish Masculinity as the topic of my WR100 course? Sure, don’t mind if I do. Why don’t I take a political philosophy course and Introduction to Nutrition while I’m at? One of the many beauties of COM is that it’s a communication program with an emphasis on liberal arts, so not only can I take various kinds of classes, I’mrequired to. In retrospect, how can an insanely curious, curly-headed girl like myself not be undecided?
I like to compare my relationship with the m-word to that of Harry Potter with the V-word; the more afraid I am about discussing majors the more pressure I feel to choose one and the more said major defines who I am. Despite how scary and nerve-wracking it can be at times, I’m ultimately really excited about the fact that I’m undecided. I have exactly one year until I’m supposed to formally declare, and I know no better way to prepare than to be completely open to all possibilities, as opposed to limiting myself with a single world.
So here it goes.
Major. Major. Major.
Voldemort. Voldemort. Voldemort.