On the Path to Choosing a Major

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Choosing which classes to take can be overwhelming, and if you’re like me, there is no clear path of courses to take because you aren’t sure what you want to major in yet. It’s a big question that needs to be answered by the end of your sophomore year, and it’s something that always is in the back of your mind. However, the beauty of a liberal arts education is that your first year at Oxy is the year for you to discover. As a first-year, you are given the freedom to take whatever classes interest you. Other classes that are offered can help you decide on which academic direction you may want to pursue.

Last semester I took the course CSP (Cultural Studies Program) 96, "Experiencing Mathematics and Science," which aimed to expose students to math and science majors by broadening the scope with which students understood the different aspects of math and science majors. It was the first time that this course has been taught and I think it was very helpful. We learned about research opportunities, how to fund research, and heard from professors in each math and science major. We were also able to learn more about how to utilize the career center in order to aid our studies, research, and summer internships. The class gave insight to what it is like to study in math and science majors and shed light on all the opportunities that are available at Oxy. Classes like these are very helpful to have available to students who are unsure of what they want to study, but have some interest in the subject. Unfortunately, the course is not available this semester, but if it were or becomes available next semester, I would recommend it to any first-year contemplating majoring in math and or science.

I think the most helpful aspect of this class for me was when Mr. Alletto of the Career Development Center (CDC) came and spoke to the class about how to make the best use of our resources here on campus. He explained in detail the services provided for us like TigerLink, a site where we can search for internships and jobs, but what stood out to me was the "Majors In Motion" portion of the CDC’s website. "Majors in Motion" has a link for all possible majors here at Oxy and gives you a an overview of what it means to study that subject, what some alumni are doing now having majored in that area, and other potential occupations that can come of that particular field of study. It is a great way to help students realize the endless amounts of possibilities that can go along with whatever major they choose, or help guide them in the right direction if they are set on some end-goal.

The main thing I am realizing after a semester here at Oxy, is that there are numerous ways for you to explore what you want to major in, and that there is always someone who can help. I have personally met with Mr. Alletto in the CDC after scheduling an appointment and now know that if I ever have any questions he is available by e-mail or during drop-in hours every week. So, for those of you feeling overwhelmed by the life decisions that seem to loom over you in the near future, there’s no need to fear, because you will have plenty of time to figure out what you are passionate about and you won’t have to go through the process alone.