UD has an interesting statue near the center of campus: a stone book with one page carved with symbols of science, art, and literature, and the next page blank. There are many interpretations of the statue (and to be honest I’m not sure what the correct one is) but I like to think that it represents the importance of knowledge and keeping and the future as subject to change.
I never truly understood the significance of coming into college with an open mind until I actually looked through the variety of courses and majors offered. Many teenagers leaving high school have the false expectation that they need to know exactly what they want to major in while applying to schools. During the first week of college, students often say “I’m majoring in chemical engineering” “I’m majoring in finance” “I’m majoring in (insert well-known major here)” etc. However, when you talk to seniors and graduates, it’s not rare to hear them say that they switched majors two, three, or even four times throughout their college career. For some reason, many people feel like it’s not ok to be undecided at the beginning.
This isn’t to say that it’s wrong to think you know what you want to do when you enter your freshman year. However, I think it’s a great motivator to explore what your university has to offer and know that there might be a major out there that you didn’t even know you’d love.
I came into the University of Delaware as ‘Business Undeclared’. My reasoning was that I thought I liked business above all other majors but I wasn’t quite sure which one I liked most. Now I’m realizing that I don’t have to limit myself to just business majors. I’m making sure to take at least one class each semester that brings in different aspects of diverse majors so I can see what I’m really passionate about. My first semester I chose to take an introduction to nutrition course, and I loved it! It was challenging but fascinating and showed me that I might be able to enjoy a science major or minor. This semester, I am taking a course on communication across cultures, a course about the implications of art and media, and an English colloquium that focuses on the polar climate. All of these classes have an aspect that sparks my interest and are all classes that I am unfamiliar with. Courses about culture and the environment are especially interesting to me because they show me just how much I don’t know about the world. Courses that study the reliability and implications of media manipulation have literally changed my view of things like Instagram, Facebook, and even TV news. I love being challenged to expand my knowledge and be more open-minded about people and places. To me, being able to feel like I’ve grown intellectually is one of the most satisfying and rewarding feelings.
One of the best advantages to college is having the opportunity to experience diversity, whether it’s different classes, people, or places. If you come into college with tunnel vision and never explore different classes or events, you might miss out on finding a passion you never knew you had!
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