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The Sunflower

Deciding on a major isn’t so bad

Column by Teresa Tran

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Warning: this article is meant only for students who are currently or soon-to-be undecided about their majors. Which is basically everyone.

Not sure what area of study you want to devote the next four years to? Here’s a few descriptions of common majors to help you decide.

English: You love reading, talking and sharing your ideas. You are a good listener and a rare creature. If you can regularly come up with lunatic interpretations of simple stories, you should major in English. For example, you are studying “Moby Dick.”

Anyone with common sense knows Moby Dick only as a big, white whale. But in your essay, you do your best to prove that Moby Dick is actually the Republic of Ireland.

Mathematic/ Physics: You are brilliant and you know it. The universe is expanding (according to the Big Bang theory), and so is your horizon.

You like to enjoy good food with good friends, and it’s challenging not to debate string theory with your fellow partygoers. If you get excited when you hear “define the cosine integer of the quadrant of a rhomboid binary axis, and extrapolate your results to five significant vertices,” chances are you are a mathematician.

On the other hand, if you prefer problems such as “A rubber band with initial length L has one end tied to a wall. At t = 0, the other end is pulled away from the wall at speed V (assume that the rubber band stretches uniformly). At the same time, an ant located at the other end begins to crawl toward the wall, with speed u relative to the band. Will the ant reach the wall? If so, how much time will it take?” then you are a physicist.

If you didn’t understand any of the above, you are a normal person.

Engineering: You pretty much have the characteristics of those math and physics majors, except you want to actually build stuff. After you have graduated, you had no idea that you would be sitting in a room with a computer trying to analyze errors in an airplane part. Fun huh?

Psychology: If you are constantly quizzing your roommate or significant other about their childhood and trying to figure out why he or she is a slob, you are indeed in the psychology field. You are not afraid to confront or have an “in-depth” discussion about feelings or statistics. Bonus point if you especially love rats, dreams, or the word “theory.”

Studio Art: You have so many projects to finish that you don’t have time to play ping pong or drink soda in the rec room.

You can’t help it if you’d rather make a mosaic from the dorm’s broken bathroom tiles or create 3-D sculpture out of your roommate’s hangers than get drunk at a party. This does not mean you are antisocial. You love good friends with all your heart, and you are very passionate.

Business/ Economics: When you were a kid, you probably had a lemonade stand or a garage sale every summer. You are always looking for better ways of making money. Once you decide to complete a task, you get totally immersed in it and stay that way until it is done. You love the idea of percentage and stock. But most of all, you probably have the dollar sign as your motivation and inspiration.

Philosophy: You have the ability to sit in one place – the library, your dorm room, or the restroom – and conclude there is no such thing as reality, and go to lunch. Psychologists love you.

Political Science: You have the ability to share facts and gossip alike, whether about the development of democracy in classical Greece or your adorable lab partner.

Biology/ Chemistry/ Health Profession: You loved to play doctor when you were a kid (and you still do). The natural side of life does not gross you out. Your friends are always shouting, “get that thing away from me!”

If you are still unsure on what to do, it’s okay. A liberal arts and science adviser will gladly help you to find out your dream career.

When in doubt, take the class. It’s those classes that you take even though they don’t relate to your major that build the foundation for everything else.

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