I declared a double major this week, no big deal. Just another thirty credits I have to take.
Just a few more classes. No big deal. I’ve told a few people that I’ve done this and their
responses have mostly involved reactions like, “Oh really? That must be rough! What other major did you add?” And then I tell them that I added Women and Gender Studies as my other major and then their tones change. “Ohhhhh,” they say. “That’s interesting…But why?
Can you even major in that?” I’ve already written an article on how I’d respond to those ignorant (or blissfully unaware) comments and assumptions people make on the Women and Gender Studies major. But basically, I think most of them don’t necessarily know what learning about gender means, or how important and life changing this subject is, or how passionate I am about it.
When I first took my Introduction to Women and Gender studies last fall, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. After the first couple of classes, I was enthralled and amazed, and passionate about what I learned. By then, after much deliberation, I had already decided on my main major, International Studies, but I had always assumed that declaring and deciding on a major would be a momentous occasion in life. It wasn’t. But taking this class was like an ‘AHA’ moment for me. AHA! So THIS is what I’m passionate about.
I’d never known for sure what I was extremely interested in, or willing to dedicate my life to. People had always asked me, “What are you interested in?” I’d always replied, “Everything.” Now I know that I’m actually not. I’m mostly interested in politics, and Hispanic issues, and now, after my light bulb moment, women studies.
My mother’s reaction to my double major news was much more helpful. “That’s great! This can add a bit of diversity to the current subjects you’re taking and show future employers another concentration you’re educated in!” I love my mom. She gets it. This major isn’t useless or boring or unimportant as other people claim. It’s showing that I have an interest in women’s issues, and I know how to advocate for them, and defend them with insight and education.
I still don’t know what I want to do in life. I’m only nineteen years old. I’m a sophomore-soon-to-be-junior in college, and I still don’t know what I want to be When I Grow Up. But then I think about all of the people who are ‘adults’, who still don’t know what they want to be when they’re older, and then I feel a bit better. But my dream? It’d probably be to open my own non-profit advocating for the needs of Hispanic immigrant women. I’m happy I finally narrowed down my dream, but all I need to do is figure out how to get there. It took me about five years to finally decide what to study in college, but I sure hope it doesn’t take me another five to decide what to do in life.