Help me begin to pick a major

Today, I met with my freshman adviser in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, in which I am currently enrolled. I told him that I ruled out being in the School of Music and the McCormick School of Engineering, but that’s about it. He recommended I talk to someone in the Academic Advising Center because he can’t help me.

A few hours later, a friend of mine (okay, Shari, I’ll mention you by name) saw an ad in The Daily Northwestern for a workshop for “undecided majors.” I decided to go and see what it was all about.

In a room set for 50 people, two students showed up, making me feel even more alone in this world of decided people. People who know what they want to do. People who can see into the future. People who aren’t confused.

The guy (who happened to be from the Advising Center) told us that we should talk to people in the departments of possible majors, and maybe sit in on some classes. I didn’t really learn anything new.

For those of you not familiar with Northwestern, the university consists of six schools:
-Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
-School of Education and Social Policy (SESP)
-School of Communication
-Medill School of Journalism
-School of Music
-McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Right now, I am considering either switching to SESP, Comm, or Medill, or possibly staying in Weinberg.

Possible majors in each school that I am considering:

SESP:
-Learning and Organizational Change
-Social Policy

Comm:
-Communication Studies

Medill:
-Journalism

Weinberg:
-Sociology
-beg and plead to get a Jewish Studies major

I need to decide sort of soon which school I would like to be in, because each school has different requirements. Registration for spring quarter classes begins (too) soon.

Here’s where you come in. You can VOTE HERE (leave a comment) on which school you think I should be in, and why.

I will tally up the votes, and whichever one wins is the school I will transfer into and the school that will determine my life career. Okay, just kidding, maybe not necessarily. Depends on what you vote for.

Thanks for helping me find my place in the world. Really.

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11 thoughts on “Help me begin to pick a major

  1. Personally, the name “Lia Lehrer” has always conjured up in my mind a picture of someone dashing off to a foreign embassy to be the first in line to get the latest scathing story.

    I’m talking investigative journalism. Or any kind of journalism, for that matter, but you make me think “journalist.”

    I therefore can only think that Journalism is your best bet.

  2. Right, I knew I forgot something in that comment. I blame my fever. Anyways. Because you seemed to really enjoy it last year and you’re a very good writer and I love the way you get your points across and you’re very witty and articulate.

    That was a long run on sentence. Again, I blame my fever.

  3. Okay, since you already know I’m hardcore in support of journalism, I’ll devote this pose to ruling out the other majors, most of which pale in comparison.

    Comm and Jewish Studies – Any major followed by the word “studies” is kind of useless. They’re for minors at best. If you’re interested in Judiasm, go to Hillel. If you’re interested in communications, MAJOR IN JOURNALISM.

    Sociology – Yeah, everyone wants to be a soc major for like a day. It’s fun, easy, and interesting, right? I wonder if you’ll say that after you’ve taken two Soc Research Methods classes. And Statistics. And 10 classes on the same theorists, making the same point over and over again. How bout I just make it now and save you a pointless degree: The world isn’t fair, but it’s fairer if you’re white and male. Got it? Good, let’s move on.

    LOC and Social Policy – Okay, fine. SESP isn’t so bad, and these majors and pseudo-practical (remember, you’re in college to GET A JOB). But, honestly, would you rather take Adulthood & Aging when you could be newswriting? Or designing layout? Or street reporting? Yeah, didn’t think so.

    So, um, major in journalism. Or I’ll kill you. K bye.

  4. Have you really ruled out all majors in WCAS except sociology and Jewish studies? Have you even taken a poli sci or history or anthropology or pysch class at Northwestern? I think you should stay in WCAS and explore all the options you have – including but definitely not limited to sociology.

    Additionally, a lot of the other schools have very rigid core requirements; SESP for example requires things like micro and macro econ, statistics, childhood and adolescence, and adulthood and aging. Your fabulous harmony class would no longer suffice as a math distro! Or in the case of communication, you would have to take analysis and performance of literature (fondly refered to as anal perf). Do you want to perform poetry in front of a class? I’m not clear you do. And the only rigid requirement WCAS has (since you can take pretty much anything for a distro) is the language requirement, which you will have completed after next quarter, so that really is a moot point.

    Now, if you really feel you want to major in journalism, feel free to try to switch into Medill. If you like your journalism class now, you’ll probably like the others you have to take. Just know that you get more elective opportunities in WCAS. And no Medill Fs.

    Also, your major doesn’t completely dictate what you do in life. I mean, sure, I can’t go into biomedical engineering with my American History degree, and I would definitely need to have taken more than intro psych to get into a clinical psychology graduate program. But even though I have not majored in communication or social policy, I can potentially work in communications or in some sort of non-profit dealing with education or health policy, or in lots of other things. I don’t have to teach history. And yes, some places will want to hire people with specific sorts of coursework under their belt. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be your major. You can take communication classes and major in something else, and that might make you even MORE desirable to potential employer, depending on the situation. So I wouldn’t worry that if you make the wrong choice of major, you are destined to be unhappy your whole life.

    And finally don’t feel bad about being undecided right now! Just because everyone else is neurotic and preprofessional doesn’t mean you have to be. That is the beauty of WCAS – you don’t need to know from the beginning. I didn’t, and now I have two majors and a minor. And plus, half the people who swear up and down that they know their major and they are sure they are going to med school/law school/business school/whatever will change their mind. So much for being “decided!”

  5. You have to take Statistics for Journalism, too.

    But you do make a good point for the overall point of Sociology.

    What would happen if I got a double major in Sociology and Social Policy? Could I just make it one major and call it “Sociolicy”?

  6. Hmm, editor in chief of school paper and currently spends nights copy editing at NU’s paper. Hopefully you really enjoy journalism or you wouldn’t be seeking out positions like this. And if you enjoy it, then why not major in it?

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