The search for the “right” major

November 13, 2008

People have often asked me why I chose anthropology as my major. I usually get the same comments, such as “Well, that isn’t practical” or “What in the world are you going to do with that?”. Or, there are times when I get a confused look and people then question what anthropology even is.

I went into college as a mass communications major. I had always dreamed of becoming writer. I’ve been writing since I can remember. My first book (which my mom still has somewhere in the house) was entitled “The Dog Tom” and about a lost dachsaund and the children watching him trying to frantically find him. Anyways, I’ve gotten sidetracked. I always wanted to be a writer and believe I still do. I thought mass communications was the way to go to become a writer. I was involved with my high school newspaper and yearbook, so what could be better than becoming a journalist?

I never really knew what anthropology was until I entered college and was placed in “Introduction to Anthropology” with Dr. Davis-Salzarr. On the first day of class she had an entire montage of exactly what anthropology was and what the sub-fields dealt with. Within this montage, she had a quote by Ruth Benedict, which instantly inspired me.

” The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differeces.”

I believe it was at this moment that I changed my major. Some people may think I’m crazy for changing my major and thus, my life just because of a quote. But honestly, I’m happy with my decision. It opened me to a new world of thought and has taught me so much about cultures across the globe. Somehow, I feel more connected. I see the both the stark differences and the vast similarities of people everywhere and I guess I just don’t feel so alone anymore.

 Now, there are the main questions, or the “essentials” that everyone ask me upon hearing what I hold a bachelors in. Do I have a well paying job? No, as of right now I work at Disney, but I do LOVE my job and come into contact with people from around the world on a daily basis. Do I know where I’ll be in 5 or even 10 years? No clue. But, what I do know is that changing my major has made me a better person. Anthropology has strengthened my mind, my morals, my spirituality, and my heart. It has opened my eyes to the world, something I don’t believe mass communications could have done.

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