OP: Students should study what they love, not what is “practical”

27 November 2018

Israel Wheatley

iwheatle@uccs.edu

Before starting college, I had decided to major in either linguistics or French, maybe both. Well, UCCS doesn’t offer either as a major. So, I decided to study Anthropology instead with a focus on Anthropological Linguistics. Still, I was lacking in passion for the subject.

UCCS is a small enough school that students can develop rich relationships with their faculty and master their studies, but its small size means it also lacks in “traditional” studies. Larger public schools, like CU Boulder or Purdue, will even offer multiple language linguist studies, including: french and Italian studies; Spanish and Portuguese Studies and German and Scandinavian studies.

UCCS is too small to offer a major in anything other than Spanish, unless you build your own major. Customizing your own major is exactly what I did, and exactly what I recommend others to do as well.

The benefits are all at your fingertips when you design your own major (now known as Interdisciplinary Studies). Your degree will be personalized to something that you love, something that you might feel lacking at UCCS. That may be French and History combined, or, in my case, French and German combined. Now with a minor in Linguistics offered at UCCS, I’ll even be able to add a bit of science to better understand the languages to the fullest extent.

The degree allows you to study exactly what you love. When you love what you study and study what you’ll love, you’re automatically on the path to succeed in that field. Because  it’s your field.

Even better, when you can study exactly what you want at your own pace, to your own liking, you’ll become a master of that niche when you graduate.

In the end, students studying year after year what their parents want them to study, or what they think would be lucrative, without regard to what they enjoy, our culture becomes monotonous. We’ll end up with a surplus of biology or business graduates working in a field they didn’t study for, one that they may or may not enjoy.

The idea of having a diverse culture — in terms of studies — is beautiful.

This isn’t an advertisement for my major. I wish everyone could create their own major like me, but most of all, I want everyone to study what they like.

Stop struggling hour after hour in organic chemistry, constantly questioning why you’re in the program. Look deeper into what UCCS has to offer. Test the waters elsewhere. Find a way to incorporate your hobbies and interests in studies.

Take a film studies class, learn about the history of the English language, do an independent study with your favorite professor. Just go for it. Turn away from what everyone else does and find the path you love.

Then, in your last semester, take all those compass curriculum classes. Like a real procrastinator.

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