Throwback Thursday: When You “Knew” Your Major

Remember being a high school senior, brimming with confidence about what subjects you wanted to explore in college? Me neither. But I do have that vague fuzzy memory telling me that it did happen. By the end of my senior year, I was sure that I would come to Tufts and study biology, and that was really all that mattered at the time. Well, not so much.

My freshman year, my sign-up time was terrible—I mean the worst of the worst. I wasn’t able to take Bio 13, but I didn’t think it was that big a deal, especially since I had already been entertaining the idea of the biopsychology major. So I took Intro to Psychology. I hated it at first and vowed that I couldn’t possibly have that as my major. And then, some two months in, I somehow fell in love with it. I’m sure there’s some fine line between love and hate that got crossed whilst I wrote my “Psych Bible” (the book of outlines I’d meticulously handwritten for each chapter as a useful study guide), and suddenly I’d crossed that threshold. Psychology became the class that engaged me most. So I took another psychology course the next semester, and I loved that, too.

As someone who is still a freshman, I haven’t had to declare yet, but I feel the pressure at every family dinner, where the topic always seems to be What’s your major? What do you want to do after college? I don’t know, but for a while, I started to say that I was leaning towards a psych major. Now what did I want to do with that major? I don’t know, help people? As an empathetic person, I generally want to help people as best I can, but I usually get swept up into their problems pretty easily. My parents weren’t too happy; they didn’t think I’d be able to handle that sort of pressure to separate my work life from my personal life, and I agree. So what do I want to study? History? Spanish? I, someone that finds children exhausting (though lovable), even entertained the idea of a child development major.

And suddenly, with quite some deliberation over this, I was back to biopsychology, thinking about possible paths that might interest me. The truth is that I don’t know what I want to do. And it has me very stressed out that I have to choose a defined path for my life in less than a year. And somehow, before the constant switching back and forth and going around in circles, I had felt so confident during my high school years that I had wanted to study biology. Once the grind gets to you, most people need to change their minds at least a few times. So #throwback to when you, too, were that cocky high-schooler, confident in what you wanted to do for the rest of your life.

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