Thoughts on My Future Major

One of our student writers discusses the pressures surrounding choosing a college major and how her future looks to her.

As I’m writing this, my high school graduation is only six days away. It’s daunting and exciting. For me, finishing high school means college in the fall, and starting college means a future that’s wide open for me…sometimes, a future that’s a bit too wide but not frighteningly so.

Whenever I mention my future to my parents—or even college in general—they always find a way to mention engineering. However, the word “engineering” creates mixed feelings for me. Their encouragements are well founded; I love science. However, math is a weaker subject for me, and that’s a large part of science, especially engineering.

As far as classes go, I’d rather take Shakespearean Classics than Multivariable Calculus. I know it’s true that anyone can be good at math with enough practice, but that doesn’t mean I want to. I’d rather not go through the stress of more integrals, limits, and partitions. I’d rather focus my energies on classes I’m passionate about.

English is where my heart lies. I love all the words in the English language. Finding a word to say precisely what I mean is far more lifting than solving a difficult equation. I love reading old poetry and deciphering the old phrases and meanings of Shakespearean language and poetry. I love making poems flow with the words I’ve chosen. What I write feels like mine. My voice. My words. My ideas. Writing is something I get to claim for myself, and when you’re a triplet, there often isn’t much that’s solely yours.

The miniscule chance that I might become a recognized author in the future keeps me writing. The amount of stress my mother puts on STEM makes me want to branch into engineering even less.

It’s not to say I’m completely adverse to STEM though. My best friend is majoring in Engineering at North Carolina State. Whether I’ll follow her lead is up in the air. The fact of the matter is that the future’s uncertain. I don’t really know what career I’ll pursue. And that’s okay. 

Related: The Truth About College Majors

That being said, I have other passions such as musical theater, voice, and art. Not knowing what you want from college isn’t the worst. It’s comforting to know that my future could swing a number of ways and I’m not tied down to a major yet. I feel like I have options—a nice change from high school.

Looking at engineering, I know there are many different types— Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Engineering are all options for me to pursue. This gives me hope, considering I like chemistry and biology; maybe engineering isn’t an impossible future for me after all. I like biology and chemistry because they deal more with concepts instead of numbers; they’re core sciences that teach me how the world works. Because they are more physical, perhaps I like them better than math-based classes. But that’s a decision I don’t need to make now.

Related: How to Choose Your Major (or Not)

I don’t know where my college journey will take me; the metaphorical road in the yellow wood will soon diverge. Whether I pursue English or Engineering—or a completely different avenue—I know my future will still be bright. The door to college stands wide open, and I can’t wait to walk through it this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go Tar Heels!

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choosing a major college majors engineering English majors

About Grayson Yount

I love discovering new words and ways to describe the things I see every day.


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