How I Found The Major Of My Dreams

When I came to UCLA four years ago, I was a statistics major. But in Spring 2018, I’ll be graduating with a degree in International Development Studies and a minor in Urban Planning—so basically nowhere near where I began.

My first year I was so sure I wanted to do math forever and then something happened—I took a GE gender studies class and my life has not been the same ever since. That gender studies class taught me that all these emotions I was feeling when I interacted with the predominately male students in my math classes were not made up feelings, they were actually my reaction to macro-aggressions that I previously had not encountered in my all-girls high school. After taking this class, I realized that my passion was not in math and that I was just trying too hard to like it. There were so many more interesting things out there that I decided to go after (no offense, math).

Women Studying GIF by US National Archives

After taking that first gender studies class I started taking more classes in the social sciences and I realized that the interdisciplinary aspects of the International Development Studies major was perfect for me. Not only that, but through this major I have come to learn about some of the most pressing issues of our time.

UCLA describes my major as, "an interdisciplinary approach to the study of international development enables students to address urgent global issues from several different academic perspectives. Ranging from anthropology to economics, from public health to women's studies, and from geography to history, and political science to sociology, our curriculum exposes students to the issues, problems, and policies connected to the struggles of underdeveloped nations." It really draws from a range of different topics and classes. 

In short, sometimes GE classes can be useful to help you figure out what you want to study. One class helped me find my true major. And remember, many students go on to careers that are unrelated to their majors, so it's one choice that mainly affects your time at UCLA, but not necessarily beyond. Choose what works for you.