Thursday, April 19, 2007

changing my major

They say something like 2/3 of college students change their major at least once.  This is one of those things, however, that isn’t easier because “everyone else is doing it.”  I’ve been wrestling with the idea of changing my major for a while now, and I’ve finally decided to do it. 

I came to Calvin with the intention of being an English major for four years.  I love to read, I love to write, and I really love grammar.  I enjoy a lot of disciplines, though.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my astronomy, religion, chinese, art, and history classes.  Yet somehow I am not as excited about my English classes as I had anticipated.  I have had fabulous professors and read interesting and engaging literature, but I didn’t feel like I enjoyed the subjective aspect of being an English major as much as the other English majors I know.  I love to do the readings, but I don’t particularly enjoy discussing them.  Besides that, I did not have a clear idea of what I would want to do with my English major.  When I would tell people that I was an English major the next question would inevitably be what I was going to do with it, followed by a suggested answer: teach.  While it is entirely possible that I would want to teach English as a Second Language overseas somewhere (potentially in Hungary because I loved it there so much), that would not be a long-term thing, and the idea of teaching 30 children or teenagers does not appeal to me.  Neither, however, did my other option: editing.  I love to go over papers, looking for grammatical errors and other ways to improve an essay.  To be an editor for a publishing company or a magazine, though, would require a) a lot of time spent working my way up to a good job and b) a significant amount of time in a cubicle/office setting.  I don’t particularly relish the idea of either, and on top of that, I think I would probably get bored with it if I did it all the time. 
The idea of working with individuals, helping and learning from them, appeals to me.  I still really like the English language and the objective aspects of it, such as linguistical study, phonetics, grammar, and the like.  So what am I switching my major to?  Speech Pathology.  It incorporates the parts of the English major that I love and was sad to lose, and it adds a scientific twist.  The job options in the speech pathology field fit my interests - working with people in either small groups or one-on-one, identifying problems and figuring out what methods to use to correct them, and study/application of the English language.  It was a hard decision, especially since I wasn’t sure I could graduate on time if I changed my major now, but I am thrilled to have made it.  It just feels right.  My roommates have both also changed their majors/programs in the past week, and we all feel much more settled with what we have chosen than we did with our original majors.  I guess the moral of this story is that changing one’s major is not a problem.  When you go to college you might think you know what you want to do, and that’s fine, but in taking classes you might discover that your passion lies in a different area than you initially believed.  Follow that passion.  You’ll be happier.  I know I am.

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 04/19 at 03:09 PM

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