on choosing a major

My brothers didn’t have trouble in finding their direction and I am lost beyond belief.

oh katie. i understand how hopeless things feel. but the truth is i had just as hard a time as you are. surely mom and dad have told you that they worried that i was going to drop out during my second year. they must have because they still remind me about it. basically i was hating that the subjects i loved (or had loved) like art and english were not as enjoyable when i took art and english classes.

i stumbled upon linguistics because i happened to take an intro to linguistics class which i enjoyed and because a professor was very persuasive about recruiting me into the program. i was never entirely sure of my decision, it just seemed like the most interesting option of several less desirable options. even after i formally decided on linguistics as my major (after cycling through art and english) i only really enjoyed a few of the classes. probably because i just don’t like taking classes.

and c’mon, linguistics is useless! but so is every other liberal arts major. they don’t teach you enough to be an expert in any field, but they do try to expose you to broad subject matter and force you to think critically about it. all the other useful skills you’ll pick up during your first job and every job and experience you have thereafter, over the course of your life. it’s unfortunate that undergraduate programs seem to overemphasize the importance of figuring out exactly what career you want before you’ve experienced doing any work in that career.

and not to speak for matthew, but he’s been struggling with the same exact thing for three years! he only now started a major in history, something he’s really interested in learning more about, but it’s not like that move provides him with a sure path to a career after he graduates. remember that mom and dad and so many people their age would say that they’re still trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. one of the hardest things to learn is how to live with uncertainty.

in all honesty, the major you choose doesn’t really matter. it certainly won’t force you down a road you don’t want to go, and it probably won’t limit your future opportunities in any significant way. just think of it like a concentration. it’s something you’re interested in now that you happened to be taking a bunch of classes in. by the time you graduate, you could be interested in doing completely different things. and you’ll have no problem doing them no matter what your major is. all that future employers may want to see is that you’ve had a well-rounded education with an array of interesting or relevant experiences.

love, justin

4 Comments

katie

thanks justin. :)

Brian

Seven days and counting and no post, where art thou oh son of mine – I know, I know, on a flight to another continent.

jackie

We’re really feeling the lack of you at that Jon Bon Jovi/John Edwards appearance tonight.

dad: sorry, blogger has been finicky recently. and not easy from london either.

jackie: bon jovi? job edwards?

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