You know you’re going to college when you start feeling like every decision you make is life changing. Looking back on my journey, I realize how much small decisions matter and how they may end up shaping the course of my life. One decision which all high school students think about is what their major will be in college. Even if they don’t think about this exactly, it definitely crosses the mind from time to time. What subjects do I like to study? Do I want to make a career out of this? Can I keep learning about this in college?
Well, choosing a major is no easy task and even when you’re in college, it can be difficult to decide upon one major. One TV show which actually gave me some good insight into the “major dilemma” was Greek. Greek features an ensemble cast of college students who all attend Cyprus Rhodes University (CRU, a fictional university). All of the characters are part of the Greek system (fraternities and sororities), but many episodes of the show are dedicated to “the major dilemma” and the other academic challenges members of the cast face.
Here are some characters that illuminate the various major choices available in college and the problems one might face.
Casey: She starts off as pre-law and political science. She later questions herself because she chose this major due to her ex-boyfriend, Evan, and now does not want to be influenced by him. She represents people who question whether they chose their major themselves or through someone else pressuring them to do a particular major. In the end, she continues with her initial choice after interning for a congresswoman. The internship helps her love her major and she ultimately goes to CRU Law School. Casey was able to figure out what she wanted by gaining some real world experience (something all high school students and college students should do).
Rusty: He is clear about majoring in Polymer Science (this major is also called Material Science and is often found under the Engineering department). He questions his choice of major only once when he feels that he may not have enough passion for it. Like any student, he seeks the help of his college advisor. This is another important step in choosing a major. I spoke to my advisor twice before deciding on my major. He also does research in his major and finds that he does have passion for it; he just had to find which aspects of polymers interest him.
Ashleigh: She’s the typical people’s person and correctly chooses her major to be marketing. She intelligently plays her strengths in choosing a major. However, she gets disillusioned when she is unable to find paid work after graduation, but like any true college student, she uses her connections with her favorite professor to get a job. She represents the student who has a hard time in the current economy, but she has faith in the major she chose. Plus, keeping in touch with professors is always important. The other aspect of college life that Ashleigh portrays is how important interview skills and marketing yourself are. Ashleigh secures her first unpaid but prestigious internship by being persistent and excelling in her interview.
Cappie: He is the student that chooses the undecided major. He has an aptitude for psychology as developed in the show, but he is scared to commit to a major because he is afraid it will limit what he wants to do in the future. He dreams of many different career paths and does not want to choose a major. However, he is ultimately convinced that his major does not have to limit his choices in life. I know tons of people who got jobs completely unrelated to their major.
Catherine: She is the opposite stereotype as Cappie. She’s the girl who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. She is what we call a “Planner.” She has mapped out her road since the beginning of college. She is pre-law and business and ultimately goes for a JD/MBA dual degree so she will basically be a lawyer-businesswoman CEO know-it-all. She represents how effective good planning can be. She works hard to get good grades and supplements her school work with meaningful leadership and extracurricular activities.
Hopefully, these characters have given you some nuggets of wisdom. Check in next time to see how I made my major decision.