Your major does not have to define you

Jessica Isgro

What does my major say about me? Absolutely nothing. Now, don’t get me wrong. Majors are a large part of who we are or who we want to become, yet it does not define every aspect of our lives. The reality of the situation is that we would not be at this University if we were not intellectually driven; the focus of our studies should not place a label on our intellectual abilities.

A major highlights our goals, showing the vaguest outline of how we wish to run our lives. It offers suggestions to eventual career paths, opportunities to meet similar people and exposure to professionals in interesting fields.

What a major does not do is restrict you. When I stepped on campus my first year, already declared as a music education major, I was absolutely terrified. For a split second, I thought my friends were decided, my activities selected and my schedule outlined, without my complete consent to each of these details. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

By that same token, I do not perceive majors as stereotyping an individual’s personality or intellect. There are difficult facets to all fields of study: while some may find difficulty in painting a life-like portrait, others may become perplexed when solving quadratic equations. It is all a matter of perception.

People need to stop thinking of majors as restricting their options and rather as expanding their options. By this I mean that being a music education major allows me to meet teachers I can relate to, get to know people with similar interests and study subjects I find fascinating. It does not inhibit me from meeting other people, restrict me from studying different subjects or separate me from professors in other fields. While it does keep me busy, I still have the opportunity to put myself out there and meet peers and teachers in other disciplines.

Though I have never walked a day in the shoes of an engineer or a management major, I suspect this principle runs the gamut of all majors available on campus. While a course load of major requirements may seem like an overload of specified education and unchanging classmates, the reality of the situation is that there are always opportunities to reach out and meet new people.

When we start to choose majors and classes based upon what seems intellectual or what has the best stereotype is when majors stop increasing our options and start labeling us. My major says that I love music and that I want to help others love music. Most importantly, my major does not tell others who I am. I tell others who I am.

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