Sophomore year. The year of the slump, so I’ve heard. In a week, when I return to Yale no longer as a lowly freshman, I will perhaps be more lost than I was as said lowly freshman. This is because my educational clock is ticking. At the end of sophomore year, I am to declare my major. Gasp! I am to declare one word that will define my undergraduate experience. Admittedly, I have been eased into the gravity of this rite of passage. For years people have been asking me what my major was, and for years I have bull-shitted my answer. “Oh, definitely history.” “English, for sure.” “I’m thinking linguistics.” What?? See, whenever people have asked me that question in the past, I have responded with the subject that interested me most at the time. And by at that time I literally mean in that millisecond, because my interests change faster than the length of Rihanna’s hair. Sometimes I’d have a little fun on college tours, when the tour guide would go around the circle of nervous high school kids and their parents with the “What subject are you thinking of majoring in?” question. My favorite would be to answer “computer science” or “quantum physics,” even though me and science have never gotten along. These little lies were all well and good until the tour guide was, in fact, a computer science major and wanted to discuss the field in alarming detail.
But this year I must actually choose. Yikes. And it’s hard being in a sea of pre-meds and pre-laws and math prodigies and people who have a real idea of what they want to do with their lives. I tell myself that my major won’t really matter when I’m career hunting. That’s what I’ve heard, from some: choose what really interests you, and then worry about the future later. But I can’t help but wondering if that’s just a myth created for the sole purpose of making me homeless. Well, homeless or not, I’m leaning towards a French major. I really do love it—studying French literature, cinema, culture, history, and art. And I plan to study abroad in France, so that should make knocking out the major’s requirements relatively easy. And if that means that I’ll end up jobless after I graduate, I can always be a hobo in France. C’est la vie.