6: Hardest Decision

6: Hardest Decision

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles

Hardest Decision

Everything in life is luck.

~Donald Trump

I stared at my school catalog. I had been through all 430 pages of it five times and still could not make a decision about the one thing that would set my entire college career on course and ultimately decide what I do when I graduate. It is also the answer to the one question that everyone — and I mean everyone — asks you. It can be summed up in one word: Major.

It was already my sophomore year. I had been through all the general questions: What fields will pay me the most money? What do I enjoy? How much math do I have to take? Still, there were no answers for me. I had even taken personality tests.

Stress was now starting to set in. I had professors, counselors, and the all-important parents asking me if I had chosen. Every day I dreaded getting the phone call from Mom.

Her greatest worry was that I would not make it out. She believed that I would spend the rest of my time taking classes here and there, wasting money. Trust me; I did not want to be stuck in college forever. I wanted to graduate. College was fun, but not fun enough for me to stay past four years.

Anyway, back to my dilemma. I came into college thinking that I would major in Communications. It had been my dream to be a sportswriter. I knew that it would be hard for a female to get into a male-dominated field, but I was going to do it. I was going to show all those male writers that I was just as good as they were. This would also be an opportunity for me to show off all the sports knowledge that my dad had taught me. That was my dream until I got the acceptance letter that stated I was not qualified for that major. Well, that dream went down the drain quickly.

It was on to Plan B. I thought about History. It sounded fun! I have always been a fan of European history, especially British. I had read countless books on all their monarchs; Henry VIII and Elizabeth I being my favorites. I knew random facts about British history that my friends always made fun of me for. Now I could see all those facts coming in handy. I could see myself excelling in this field.

I thought about History for a few days. I eventually got excited and leaked the idea to my dad.

“What are you going to do with a degree in History?”

“Um...” He had me there. I guess I really hadn’t thought that one through. What was I going to do with a degree in History?

“Are you going to be a teacher?”

I really did not want to go into teaching. Maybe it had to do with seeing just how much teachers have to go through. No, thank you!

So, then it was on to Plan C. Plan C including asking my mom for help. Let me tell you right now — it was so not the thing to do. Her suggestion came from an article that she had read in one of her magazines that talked about the job market and what job positions were needed the most right now.

Her answer: Nursing.

My answer: No.

There was no way I was going to be a nurse. I could barely go to the doctor’s office without getting freaked out about getting a shot. How was I supposed to give them to other people? On top of that, I don’t do so great in hospitals. Once when I had to watch my brother get stitches, I almost passed out. I couldn’t handle seeing him in pain while the doctor tried to close his cut. The nurse had to hold him down. Yeah, nursing was not an option.

So, there I was, back at square one. What if I tried the “pick a random page” trick? I gave it a try and the result was: Mathematics. I couldn’t help but laugh, because math is the last thing I’ve ever wanted to do. I gave it another go and this time: Chemistry. Yeah, that’s not going to happen either. I almost failed my high school chemistry class.

“I give up!” I shouted, and tossed the book across the room. It hit the wall with a loud BANG and landed open on my bed, as if daring me to look again. Should I look? I figured it was probably just some dumb subject that I struggle with, like Biology or Political Science. Still, a small part of me wanted to see.

I slowly got up from my computer chair and walked over to my bed. There on the page was one word that caught my attention: English.

I had never thought about that major before. It included both things I love: reading and writing. I found a winner! I quickly picked up the book and scanned the English section, noting all the great classes. British Literature, Study of the Novel, and Intro to Shakespeare all grabbed my interest. I could do this and enjoy it! Why didn’t I think of this sooner? It had been right in front of me the whole time. I wanted to be a writer when thinking about Communications and wanted to read when looking into History.

I quickly picked up the phone and dialed my mom. I didn’t even give her a chance to say hello.

“I found it!” I shouted with joy.

~Robyn Schroder

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