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From Business to Liberal Arts: Choosing Myself

I’ve never been good at making decisions. I see every shade of grey; I imagine every possible outcome to any given situation. I can’t remember a moment of my life when I was truly decisive. When I was eight I couldn’t decide what to ask Santa for Christmas. When I was 18 I waited until May 1 to decide where I would be attending college. My indecisiveness has been a hallmark of my entire existence. 

After finally deciding to attend SLU, I was hit with more decisions to make: Will I join a learning community? Should I live on campus or be a virtual student? And perhaps the most important: what should I major in? I always knew I enjoyed reading and writing, but I wasn’t sure if that was something I wanted to pursue. My plan was to come in undecided and enroll in exploratory courses, but it was my parents who eventually pushed me to declare a major in finance. To them, higher education is about ensuring a job in the future. As someone who grew up being constantly reminded of the sacrifice my parents made for me, I felt like I owed it to them. They left their home country to give me the opportunities they never had; I felt I had to make their sacrifice worth it. I convinced myself I had a duty to them to go to college, graduate and earn a well-paying job. I didn’t know what studying business would entail, but I figured I could excel in anything if I tried hard enough.

I was right. I excelled, putting in the work and being rewarded for it. I thought if I tried hard enough, I could convince myself that I enjoyed my classes. As the second semester of my sophomore year approached, I realized I’d completed the majority of the College of Arts and Sciences’ core curriculum. Most students are excited about this because it means they can finally take more major-related courses. Unfortunately, something that was supposed to make me excited instead filled me with unease. Suddenly, I couldn’t imagine the next five semesters, taking classes that I would dread going to every day. 

I don’t know when I officially decided I’d make the switch, but I remember waking up and deciding I was done. I was done putting what others wanted for me above what I wanted for myself. I met with my advisor, signed all the necessary paperwork and dove head first into my future. As of now, I plan to double major in History and Economics. 

This experience has changed how I view undergraduate studies. College is more than learning skills for a future career. Undergraduate studies give us the space to learn about our interests and strengths. College allows us to discover what we’re passionate about and how these passions will align and intersect with our future plans. 

For once in my life, I’m sure. I’m sure this is the path I’m meant to be on. I don’t know what I’ll do after graduation. I don’t know if graduate school is in my future, or if I’ll decide to get a job instead. However, I do know that I won’t apologize for studying something I’m passionate about. I refuse to apologize to anyone for waking up and being excited about what I have the privilege of learning. I refuse to apologize for choosing myself.

Monse is 19-year-old Economics major from Omaha, NE. She is a big fan of walking, Spotify, and La Croix.
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