LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Stop asking us what’s your major? instead, let’s talk about what interests us
TO THE EDITOR:
Being a student here at Central Michigan University, I’ve heard “What’s your major?” asked an unfathomable amount of times. While it may be a great conversation starter, sometimes it’s simply an empty conversation. Nine-out-of-10 times when asked this question, people give their typical response to what they’re majoring in.
I don’t know about you, but having a major and that seemingly being the center of my identity as a student, is exhausting. I truly don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life.
As an undecided major, my journey here at CMU and my life is an ever-winding mystery full of surprise interests always taking me in different directions. I enjoy exploring them and talking to others about them as well. It becomes hard to explore those passions when I’m forced to pick an unknown major.
To be quite honest, except for the people who have had their career “figured out” from the start or have truly found their passion, I don’t think any of us truly know what we want to do. Isn’t that why we’re in college? To explore our deepest desires and interests?
It’s hard to find want to do with the rest of your life, especially when there is so much pressure to sign your major at 56 credits and then on top of that, trying to graduate in four years like we are supposed to have this whole “life” thing figured out.
While I truly believe there are no bad intentions surrounding this question, I think it reinforces a kind of pressure we so desperately want to be relieved from. What about instead of asking people what their major is, we ask them what interests them?
Let’s try to generate a whole new conversation.
A conversation where we get to truly dig a little bit deeper with each other to find out what excites us, what brings us joy or what sparks a flame that may not be listed under the offered majors here.
CMU already has such a friendly and open campus environment. Let’s continue to enlighten campus and each other by asking a question that helps explore passions and interests instead of assuming they’re known by asking what a person’s major may be.
I remember the first time I asked this to a student. The individual seemed to be caught off guard.
The reply was, “well, my major is (insert major here)”.
It helped me understand that we don’t seem to be accustomed to talking about anything much other than our majors. I think it causes us to be more surface level and career driven with our responses. Sadly, this means we might be more prone to displace our true interests and desires.
If we want to truly want to get to know each other and explore our interests with one another, I believe asking a different question, such as “what interests you?” can lead to a more desirable and eye-opening discussion.