I have learned a lot since coming to LMU a year and a half ago. Some things I expected to learn and experience: meeting new friends, trying new things, and, of course, learning all sorts of new things from my classes. On the other hand, there are a lot of things I had not planned on learning and experiencing about myself. A lot of things have changed for the better since I left high school– things that I was so certain would always remain the same. These changes were not so sudden as they were gradual, although I sometimes think I woke up one morning and everything changed. Like I said, I never wanted these changes but I welcomed them regardless.
One change that I have thought over for months has been changing my major. As some of you may know, I have been a psychology and English double major for about the past year. My original thought was to do English for my career and psychology because I thought it was enjoyable. This thinking made so much sense to me at first– doing one for the prospect of a job and the other for fun. It never crossed my mind to become a therapist or anything else that was related to psychology in that kind of way, but I still liked my psychology classes. About four years ago, I considered myself to be the person who knew exactly what she was going to do with her life: I was good at English and I liked reading, so it only made sense for me to do just that in college. Just because I had a newly found love for psychology didn’t mean I could ever adapt my goals in life, right?
Actually, it turns out I was more than wrong about that. I have always known that people change, but I was so used to being Chelsea the future English major for so long. I decided on English as a major and I was going to keep it that way. I couldn’t just change my identity like that. It sounds a bit silly as I write it like that, but as a college student your major becomes a big part of your identity. It decides what classes you have, what professors you get to know, future job prospects, and likely even the people who become your closest friends. That’s a lot riding on a single decision and I was not about to just change my decision.
As time went on last semester I realized that I not only wanted to change my decision, but that I needed to. I didn’t mind going to most of my classes, but that was exactly it: I didn’t mind going. I slowly realized that I don’t want to just not mind my classes. It was somewhat understandable since I was taking general education courses that had nothing to do with either of my majors at the time, but the two English classes I was taking were just okay. Don’t get me wrong: I liked them. I found them interesting when I went to class. But I wasn’t exactly leaping at the opportunity to learn more about anything else we talked about. I had to make myself do the homework and write the papers and sometimes, when I wasn’t feeling too great, even go to class. I knew that this wasn’t how things were supposed to be, but what was I supposed to do about it? I was taking six credit hours in my major and if I didn’t think it was too late to leave the major before, it certainly was now. Who wants to take three classes (one I took my freshman year) that wouldn’t count toward anything within my psychology major? I may as well, I thought, continue with English. I hope there is no misunderstanding. I still love literature. I still love learning and I still love reading. But I can still do all of this within the field of psychology. In psychology I can learn and read about all sorts of studies about the human mind that have changed the world and it reminds me how I wish I felt in my English classes.
Recently I have decided to drop English for right now and just continue with psychology. If I so choose at a later time, I could still minor in English. As of right now, I would only need to take one more English class and one other general education course and then I will be free to take classes within my major and any other classes I want to take. I am now taking 3 psychology classes and I am working on a research project dealing with cognitive psychology. I know cognitive psychology is what I want to go to graduate school for. I want to do research within psychology after graduation or eventually make my way into academia. Before I made this change, I wasn’t too sure of the path I was going to take. I had a plan but I was not so enthralled with it.
Now, I am proud and happy to say that I am Chelsea the psychology major. I’m not Chelsea the psychology major who isn’t sure what she wants to do. I’m not Chelsea the psychology major who secretly wishes she still had a passion for English. I am now Chelsea the psychology major who is now open to change, who is happy with her decisions, and who is so excited for the future. Those of you who are in my shoes, don’t worry. It’s okay if you don’t wake up every morning knowing exactly what you want to do with your life. It’s okay if you are reconsidering choices you were so dead set on before; your interests change just as much as you change as time goes on. Everything will work out the way it was meant even if it doesn’t feel that way now.