This semester, I changed my major.
When I was first applying early decision to Johns Hopkins University as a high schooler, I innocently thought that I already had it all figured out, what I was going to do in college. I thought that I was going to spend my four years at Hopkins pursuing a double major in Writing Seminars and Computer Science. I envisioned myself on the debate team, giving campus tours, becoming a student blogger, being a part of the Tutorial Project, and graduating summa cum laude.
It being three semesters after first stepping foot on Homewood campus, I can tell you now that while some of my expectations for my college self did come true (I do give tours now and I am, in fact, a student blogger), many also did not (I am not on the debate team or part of tutorial project and I do not have a 4.0). What more-so occurred was that I became part of organizations I did not know about before getting to Hopkins and encountered many opportunities I had never even dreamed of for myself. For example, I am a member of the Thread organization at Hopkins, I am going to be working as a librarian and a writing teacher at a local Baltimore elementary school starting next semester, and I am a research assistant at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
The biggest change that was most surprising to me, though, turned out to be my academic focus at Hopkins. A little background about myself–I have been a humanities student for what feels like my whole life, having gone to a humanities magnet program starting from the 6th grade all the way until the 12th grade. For college, I always knew I was going to want to continue to pursue the humanities. However, I also pictured myself branching out and studying a subject outside of my comfort zone, computer science. I was determined to stick to my plan. I wanted to be that cool double major in two vastly different subjects.
And it certainly was a good run.
What ended up happening was that I was not feeling completely fulfilled only studying Writing Seminars in the humanities and that I was pining to study more literature as I was struggling to complete all of my Computer Science homework.
So, after much (and I mean SO much) deliberation, I finally decided to follow that instinct and mid-semester this fall, I dropped all of my Computer Science classes at the time and the Computer Science major. I briefly allowed myself to consider pursuing a minor in Computer Science, before ultimately choosing to double major in English alongside Writing Seminars instead.
This was not at all an easy decision to come to. I struggled deeply with feeling like I had in some way failed myself, by not sticking to the plan I had created for myself at 17-years-old in high school. However, what I have come to realize is that, at the end of the day, the journey to complete a goal itself is incredibly significant, even if that goal ends up evolving. I am extremely thankful that I was able to take CS classes for two and a half semesters. I am proud of myself for passing classes outside of my comfort zone and even though I am putting it to rest for now, I am open to the idea of coming back to this subject later in my life.
As the semester continued, more changes occurred. I felt myself becoming more and more captivated and compelled by the research I was doing at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and realized that I also wanted to study psychology at Hopkins. So, I decided to pick psychology up as a minor.
I am proud to tell you that I am now writing to you as a Writing Seminars and English double major with a minor in psychology.
One of the greatest perks of being a Hopkins student is the flexibility the school gives its students when it comes to their majors and minors. As college students, we are still at the beginning of a long life of learning and achieving and we are still getting to know ourselves and what academically completes us best. Hopkins recognizes that students will grow and change in terms of academic interests. I am thankful that I was able to smoothly transition from one major to another with the help of my academic advisers at Hopkins and the overall Hopkins community.
Even though I didn’t stick to my original plan, I love that I am able to continuously fulfill my desires of academic exploration and make changes accordingly.