Confused about what to major to pick? Join the club, and let me tell you all about my journey:
My path to choosing my major was anything but straightforward. I dislike the idea that what we study in university necessarily defines who we are. I take interest in many different areas, namely but not limited to:
- Psychology (my major)
- Linguistics (my minor)
- English literature (my major coming into Glendon)
- Astrology (don’t judge me)
- History (thanks, Ted-ED)
- Acting (not good at it, but I’m still gonna try anyway)
- Dance (see above)
- Video-editing (I think I’m pretty good at this)
- Minimalism (in-training)
- Lana del Rey’s entire discography (it’s a work of art)
As I mentioned, I enrolled at Glendon as an English major but switched to Psychology and Linguistics before the start of my 2nd year, with the initial goal of going into speech therapy, but now I’m open to other career options. Even before that, my Grade 11 self was certain that she would study Business in university and train to be an accountant. If you told me that I would be a PSYC/LIN student at 16, I would’ve never believed you. Even though my heart was in English literature, the uncertainty of the future was enough to scare me into choosing what I deemed was the safe, practical, no-nonsense path of Accounting.
A high school teacher encouraged me to pursue a degree that I actually liked (imagine that, huh?) and so my carefully planned path to accountancy was scrapped to make room for my love of literature. Yeah Ana, pursue a career involving lots of crunching numbers, knowing quite well how much you dislike Math, good one!
Funnily enough, I’m now studying something totally different.
Choosing a major is a big thing and something that requires a lot of research and consideration. Despite this, it’s okay to change your mind! I read somewhere that over 70% of first-year undergrads switch their majors at least once in their university career. This is hardly surprising – it’s unrealistic to think that an 18-year-old fresh out of high school would know exactly what they want to do for a good chunk of their life when they had to ask to go to the bathroom just a couple of months ago!
Don’t let the fact that you might end up changing your major halfway through scare you though. Au contraire, I would encourage you to be open to the possibility. University is a time to explore other academic areas. I used to think grammar was the most boring thing ever. English literature was my first love in high school and I really thought that there’s no way I’d be happy studying something else. That all changed when I took “The Structure of English” in my first year. It was then that I discovered a whole new side to language which led me to minor in Linguistics.
Learning the grammatical structure of English helped me learn French more efficiently. In fact, I’m thinking of adding the D-TEIL certificate (Discipline of Teaching English as an International Language) in addition to my degree because as I was looking at the requirements, I realized that I’m literally just missing 3 more courses! If I actually end up applying for the certificate, I’m going to have to take Spanish next year (My last name is Spanish but apparently that doesn’t count), which means I most likely won’t be graduating next year as planned. Personally, I’m alright with this because I kind of don’t wanna leave Glendon yet.
This just goes to show that the road to success is rarely ever a straight line. Even though I’m in my 3rd year, I’m still learning a lot about my potential. I love it when I’m wrong about something and I let it better me as a person. I love changing my mind and being open to new opportunities. Most importantly, I’ve come to embrace that uncertainty is the only certainty in this life. We can’t plan everything but what we can do is set up a strong foundation to becoming the best versions of ourselves. If you look at university as a place to do this, rather than merely a place where you train for a career, you will gain so much more wisdom than you ever even imagined.
The moral of the story is that you never really stop learning about yourself and what things capture your interest. So don’t sweat it so much, my dear friends, you’ll get to where you’re meant to be as long as you keep going.
Talk to you next Monday!