Why I Chose My Major- Anthropology


I had no idea what anthropology was before I came to college. I knew the store, did that count? However, majoring in anthropology means no Friday classes; so picking it was a no brainer. Just kidding.

            Going into college, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to study, hence why I went to a liberal arts college. The spring of my freshman year, I enrolled in a sociology class, an economics class, and an anthropology class to help me decide which field I wanted to study further. On the first day of Borderlands of East and Southeast Asia (the anthropology class), Professor Notar gave us a brief introduction to Southeast Asian culture and history. In her mini lecture, she mentioned the aid relief of HMM-262, the Flying Tigers, one of my father’s old helicopter squadrons. From that moment on, she had my full attention. She continued to talk about life in the region, which was something I totally related to because I spent almost half of my life in Okinawa, Japan. I was able to visit all of the places she was telling the class about. After the first day, I knew that it would be my favorite class (and it was) and that I would want to take more anthropology classes (and I did).


            There are three main reactions I get from people who ask what my major is: “Oh, you like to dig up bones,” “Isn’t that what the lady in the show, Bones does?” and “Anthropology… I’m sorry, what is that again?” To clarify, anthropology focuses on culture, primarily through working with people via interviews and assimilating into their way of life. I have lots of experience in assimilating into different cultures and lifestyles because I am a military child. Growing up, every couple of years I moved to a different state or country and had to learn and adjust to their way of life. I lived for eight years overseas, where I frequently traveled, getting to experience so many different cultures and people. My family always made a point to learn the language, eat the food, adopt the practices, and just generally embrace the cultures of all the places we lived. When I realized there was an entire field of study dedicated to what I have done all my life, I knew without a doubt that I had to major in it.

            Studying anthropology builds strong people skills. You have to learn how to work with others, especially those who seem very different from you. You learn how to conduct effective interviews, communicate clearly, and perform qualitative research. Only a few anthropology majors at Trinity actually go on to become anthropologists themselves, rather the majority of majors go on to careers that focus on working with people. So to those that worry that majoring in anthropology is job suicide, it really isn’t. The major provides you with perception, people, and communication skills that you may not build as strongly in other fields.

            I highly recommend everyone to take an anthropology class at Trinity. Every professor in the department is excellent and there’s no such thing as a boring anthropology class. You won’t regret it!