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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Growing up, I dreaded being asked “What do you want to study in college?” or “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It felt like everyone else had everything figured out, or at least had a passion they wanted to pursue. I, on the other hand, was completely lost.

I knew I loved the more “right–brained” disciplines, like English and history, and I definitely did not want to do any more math or science than was absolutely necessary. But even with the subjects I enjoyed studying, I had no idea what I would do with a degree in any of them.

When applying to UCSB, a school known for its affinity for the hard sciences and research, I was extra lost. I had been applying to other schools under business or psychology, but UCSB did not have the first, and the latter seemed very neuroscience focused. On a whim, I decided to go with sociology.

At the time, I was not completely sure what sociology even meant. But when I got into UCSB as a sociology major, it felt right. I just knew that Santa Barbara was where I needed to be, and sociology was what I needed to study.

If the past two years I’ve spent here have taught me anything, it’s that I made the right decision. Yes, I’m referring to my decision to go to UCSB, but there are already plenty of articles on the UCSB Her Campus page talking about why our school is so great (and you should definitely check those out, too!). But even more so, I’m talking about my decision to study sociology.

When I took my first sociology course, Intro to Sociology, I immediately fell in love. We discussed a plethora of topics relevant to society and its functions—things that I found myself pondering already. The ability to learn and discuss these fascinating topics in an academic setting was exactly my cup of tea!

I have never cared much for calculations and measurements (although they definitely appear in some aspects of all disciplines, including sociology). Rather, I was always focused on the “how” and “why,” piecing together information and clues to make sense of the bigger picture and gain a deeper understanding of the world around me. That proclivity made sociology perfect for me.

After I started taking sociology courses, I found myself applying what I learned in class to my everyday thinking. Whether it be recognizing specific concepts we discussed in class as they appeared in conversations with my housemates, or just generally utilizing the critical thinking and analysis skills that sociology equips students with, my brain has been in constant motion for the past year and a half.

Thanks to sociology, I have learned how to look beyond the surface level to identify the root cause of all sorts of issues, ranging from personal, to interpersonal, to societal. 

Recently, I saw a clip from a stand–up show on TikTok, where the speaker cracks a joke about how the downside to being a liberal arts major is the ability to recognize the beauty in the everyday. It made me laugh, and it also made me realize how true that statement is.

In learning more about the problems plaguing our world, I have also learned to take a step back and recognize that where there is pain, there is also beauty. There is beauty in the communities that come together to fight against social injustice, even when they themselves are not experiencing it. There is beauty in how we are each unique products of our distinct, individual upbringings. There is beauty in realizing that there are better, more effective, more productive ways to respond to problems that arise.

I may still have no clue what the future holds for me. Whether I end up in law school, as a teacher, part of a non–profit organization, or doing whatever else the future has in store for me, I am confident that having a degree in sociology is going to allow me to be successful in any task life brings my way.

Hi, I'm Sloan, and I'm a second-year sociology major at UCSB! I love the beach, music, going to the gym, and cats. I am interested in mental health, fashion, sports, and so much more. I can't wait to share my passions with you through Her Campus!