Thursday, October 1, 2015

Three majors, two countries, one calling

I remember visiting Princeton on my Grand Tour of Colleges the summer before my senior year of high school. We sat in a room lined with books, floor to ceiling, and the Person in Charge asked each prospective applicant to introduce herself. Name and hometown and what you wanted to study.

I haven't a clue what my response was, but I cannot seem to forget one girl's desired major - Greek mythology. I remember feeling contempt for her boldness - how could she know so definitively? Yet even then I knew that my disdain was rooted in envy. Growing up, I couldn't stick to just one "when I grow up" fill-in-the-blank reply.

NASA Engineer.
Editor for a publishing house.

I applied Early Decision somewhere else as an English major, bewitched by the poetry of William Blake and the prospect of one day writing a Great American Novel. Add in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and once again I was an eclectic, unable to commit to a particular discipline.

I was an English major for less than a month. I worried that reading would become work and I couldn't bear the thought of resenting something so dear to me. I eventually settled on Psychology after pursuing a Government major for several semesters. I only stumbled upon developmental psychology while abroad in London, where only psychology courses would transfer for credit. What if political science courses were available instead? Did I miss my calling or find it instead?

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