Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Major Decisions

So, I have a confession to make. I tend to make decisions based on stupid things--a coin toss to decide what I'll have for lunch, assigning numbers to movies I want to watch and asking someone to pick a number, using the words of a fortune cookie to determine my major in college...

Yup, I'm serious. I picked my major based off the words from a cookie. And now I may change my major based on another fortune cookie.Well, I guess if I think like my psychology professor I would realize that the only reasons I saw these two majors in the fortunes was because I'd already been thinking about them. And I had been.

During my senior year in high school, I started getting that terrible question. You know, the "So, whats your plan after you graduate?" question. I hated it because I felt like everyone else had an answer down to the very last detail but I didn't have a clue. I knew where I'd like to go to school but beyond that, I didn't know. At first, I would just make some joke about how I would be recruited to the FBI and chase drug lords around South America for the rest of my life. But after I while I sort of got panicky. I knew I wasn't going to be recruited into the FBI, no matter how much I wished it could happen. I needed a plan, STAT. Or atleast, something to tell others when THE question arose.

So my story was, "I'm going to BYU-I to study social work".

Then the story changed because I got the awesome opportunity to go to Germany after graduation. And I couldn't have been more happy for another year to decide what I planned to do for the rest of my life. Plus, I got to freakin' live in Europe! It was fantastic!

But, I digress.

When I came home from Germany I had realized one thing--I didn't think BYU-I was right for me. So I applied to my dream school and was accepted. Then reality settled in and after a lot of research, I realized I would never be able to afford said dream school. So, with almost all the other schools passed their application deadlines, it was off to state school in my hometown... And I decided not to go with social work. My reasons were mostly because I knew my parents hated the idea of social work and, sadly, the lack of money made in that field. So, I went with something my parents would love, something that would secure me a job after a four year degree, and make better money then social work. Radiological Sciences.

And, I'm not going to lie--I loved telling people I was majoring in Radiological Sciences. People always found it fascinating and would say something about how hard it sounded.

So I went almost all the way through the semester, taking medical terminology and other classes toward my major. I just couldn't help but feel like I wasn't being true to myself. Like I was only doing this to feel intelligent. To make my parents happy. For the security of knowing I could get a well-paying job in four years. The only problem was, I didn't know what else I wanted to do.

I started to think about social work again. I loved the idea of it. Of devoting your life to helping others. Not that radiology technicians don't help others. But I couldn't help but feel like I'd picked radiology for all the wrong reasons.

Then, right before it was time to sign up for second semester classes, I went to Panda Express. At the close of my delicious lunch, I picked up my fortune cookie. And it spoke to me. It read, "Don't underestimate yourself. Your social skills are needed by others."

In that moment, I decided I was switching my major. Based on a cookie.

So I took Social Work 101. And I loved it. But at the same time, I hated it.  I loved my professor, just not some of his ideas. Honestly, there were days when I left the class fuming because I didn't agree with something he'd said. I love what social workers stand for--service, dignity and human worth, relationships, integrity, competence, and (my favorite) social justice. But I also have a hard time seeing eye to eye with some--okay, a lot--of social policies. You see, social work is a field mostly made up of people with more liberal ideology... I do not even lean a tiny bit toward the left side of the political spectrum. Then there's all those rules and regulations you have to follow as a social worker. And sometimes those rules make it hard for you to help someone. Plus... okay, I think you understand that I'm now having my misgivings about social work.

Once again, I'm doubting my choice in my major. It was back to square one. I flipped through my course catalog, tried to think of things I was interested and came up with a few other possibilities.

I made the mistake of going out for Chinese food again. This time, my fortune read "Be careful and systematic in your business arrangements." Can it be a total coincidence that a BA in business marketing was one of the other possibilities I have been considering? Or am I being sent a message via an oriental dessert?

Major decisions...

-Amy