Changing my Major by Courtney

Courtney Hutton

Courtney Hutton

I was never going to be that student. Everyone says it’s perfectly normal for a college freshmen to change their major several times throughout their first year, but that wasn’t me.

I was set on my career goal. I knew exactly what I liked, what I wanted, and how to get it. Besides, I was double majoring, Film Production & English. Who changes their major when they’re dedicated enough to have two to begin with? Almost needless to say, I’m bringing this point up for a reason, that reason being because I did, indeed, end up changing my major. It’s a common occurrence in college students, but my particular case is not.

I had always loved philosophy.  New ideas, new perspectives on life and its meaning, I just gobbled it up. Maybe it’s corny or cheesy, but I’ve always loved thinking about things. I mean really thinking about things. So, even though with a double major my schedule was packed, I decided to take a philosophy elective anyways. The possibility of an extra semester seemed a worthy risk for taking a class that’s sole focus was death. The fact that I didn’t mind taking a 19 credit hour semester as a freshman just for this one elective should’ve been my first clue to switch, but I needed a little more convincing.

The class itself was fascinating, but the instructor was quite possibly just as interesting. He walked in the first day, sat on top of the desk with his legs crossed beneath him, and marveled at the fact that 42 students had signed up for his course. It baffled him further when no one seemed eager to drop the course when he suggested it. It baffled me that he had suggested some people drop at all. He then passed around the syllabus, a sole sheet of paper, whereon the schedule was printed for the course. Half of the schedule said “TBA.” The only grades listed were two papers and participation. This class was going to be a winner, I could feel it.

The real surprise, though, wasn’t until after midterms. Our first paper was due right before spring break, and we didn’t get them back for several classes after the break. When we finally did, I was beyond stunned. At the end of my paper, my instructor had left a small comment that read: “Excellent paper! Are you a philosophy major? If not, come see me about becoming one.” Did I need more of a push to trade in my English major for philosophy? Here was a college instructor who believed my thinking capacity and writing skill were too well-suited for this major to pass by. Having an instructor express such an interest in what I studied, one who knew nothing about what my major was at the time or what my personal interests were, was beyond a thrill. I have never experienced such a surge of confidence and pride as I did when I read that note.

After meeting with him in his office, I felt for the first time that majoring in philosophy could be practical. Career-wise I was more interested in film anyways, and so the second major was simply the icing on the cake when applying to graduate school or for employment. Point being, I’m happier now studying philosophy, and I’m ecstatic that I can feel like it’s a practical decision, too. All I needed was that little reassurance.

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