On The Trinity Perspective, you will find those answers—or at least someone who asked the same questions. We have been in your shoes. The Trinity Perspective collects advice and stories from current students, parents, faculty, and alumni to share with you—prospective students, families, and the Trinity community.

What if I don't know what to study?

By Allyson Mackender –

Earlier this week I stumbled upon the first email I ever exchanged with my first-year roommate. It was filled with the expected questions: Where are you from? Do you have any siblings? What colors should we use to decorate our dorm? All the essentials. I couldn’t help but chuckle at one question, though.

What are you studying?

Northrup Hall, home of Trinity's English department. 
I enthusiastically answered, “International studies and political science,” launching into a lengthy paragraph explaining how passionate I was about the disciplines. So, with graduation just three weeks away, I can’t help but ask, how did I become an English major?

During my first semester at Trinity I took HUMA-1600, Introduction to Philosophy, International Politics, and Calculus. I went into the semester expecting to love my International Politics course; I ended the semester swearing to never take another international studies course. My decision had nothing to do with the department itself. Many of my closest friends have had phenomenal experiences as international studies majors. However, during my first semester I was deeply influenced by Professor Victoria Aarons’ Writing Workshop course, which was the first step in my decision to become an English major.

I officially declared my English major in the spring of my sophomore year, but leading up to that my parents had endured many phone calls where I emphatically told them I had found the one. After deciding I didn’t want to study international studies or political science, I considered studying anthropology, psychology, communication, and religion before finally deciding on English.

Victoria Aarons is an O.R. and Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor in Trinity's English Department
Because of Trinity’s Pathways Curriculum, students are expected to fulfill six criteria: The First Year Experience, Approaches to Creation and Analysis, The Core Capacities, the Interdisciplinary Cluster, The Major, and Fitness Education. This means that during your time at Trinity you will likely take classes in almost every department, giving you the chance to try a plethora of academic disciplines. And if you take advantage of this period of exploration, I assure you that you’ll eventually find the perfect fit.

My advice to future, and fellow, tigers is not to worry if you don’t immediately know what you'll study. When your future roommate asks what you want to major in, it is perfectly fine to say, “I have no idea.” The unique Trinity curriculum and the faculty at Trinity will guide you until you eventually find your place. Stay open-minded. Be inquisitive. Find a mentor. And remember that no matter your major the resources Trinity provides will prepare you for a lifetime of success.

About Allyson

Allyson Mackender is a senior English major from Denver, Colorado. She is the author of Trinity's Experiential Learning Blog and the editor of the Trinity Perspective.  Allyson is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Sigma Pi


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