Angeli: COM, I’m home

Around this time last year I was a nervous wreck.

The Catholic high school I attended was relatively small, with only 370 students in my graduating class. Not only did everyone know each other, but everyone knew each other’s personal business and college decisions were no exception. I was never one to advertise my accomplishments, but that definitely didn’t prevent my acceptances from becoming public knowledge, too. As May approached, teachers and peers alike were all too frequently giving me opinions I didn’t ask for. When I first got the Trustee Scholarship from BU, the general consensus was that I’d be a fool to turn down a full-ride, especially to an out-of-state school (95% of my classmates stayed in Florida.) By the start of April, though, everyone was pushing me to say yes to an Ivy.

While I appreciated the support and concern, I knew the decision was one only I could make. I narrowed my top choices down to BU and UPenn, whose Open House days happened to be the same weekend, and planned a trip with my mom and sister.

First stop: Beantown.

I remember landing in Logan Airport and feeling an odd sense of comfort, as if I’d made the trip so many times before. It had actually been about a year since my last

(and first) visit to Boston, when I came to BU for a two-week journalism program. I honestly never expected to be back on this campus.

That Friday, I attended an event for Trustee recipients. Meeting both the upperclassmen and prospective scholars like myself was an eye-opening experience. I realized that BU is truly composed of an international community of students with all kinds of interests. After hearing what some of the other Trustees were studying or had done in high school, part of me even felt unworthy of being one of them.

It wasn’t until the next day, however, when I attended COM Open House, that I realized maybe I could pass as a Terrier. As I sat in Tsai auditorium that morning and listened to all the COM Ambassadors introduce themselves on stage, I realized they were the kinds of students I both wanted to be and wanted to be surrounded by. All of them appeared so confident, passionate, and charismatic. Moreover, it seemed as if COM had helped all of them solidify what they wanted to do in the future, something I had struggled to determine while filling out my college apps. When we walked to the next presentation, my mom and sister agreed that they could see me as a CA one day. As much as I hoped they were right, I really never thought they would be.

It’s therefore crazy to me that in a few days I’ll be introducing myself on the Tsai stage. And that I’ll be answering questions about COM rather than asking them. And that I interned for Claudia’s show on WTBU last semester when she was the one who first showed me the station at Open House. And that L.E. and I give tours together each week when I chose her to be my CA last semester because I remembered her saying she was from Florida at Open House. AND THAT I’M A COM AMBASSADOR AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY.

All because last April my very perplexed, senior-in-high-school self decided to attend COM Open House. If that’s not the greatest decision I’ve ever made, then cancelling my trip to UPenn the next day is.

(My mom may or may not have forced me to take this, okay?)

Angeli: Undecided and it feels so good

“Why don’t we go around the room…”
Oh no.
“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.