Monday, June 17, 2019

How to Pick your Major, how to Double Major, and why English is the Best Major at Wake Forest University

Every campus tour I give I always talk about how I picked my English and French Studies Double Major.
I thought I would share the story with you.

I went into Wake my freshman year being a Politics and International Affairs major and a French minor. I loved politics class in high school and thought it was what I had to major in to go to law school. I also wanted to continue with French because I had already been taking French for six years.
Since I was little, probably since I was in the fourth grade when I played Warner in an all-girls production of Legally Blonde, I had the dream of going to law school.

Unfortunately, I did not do very well my first semester of college
I took 17 hours or 17 credits of classes, (which I HIGHLY discourage anyone from doing) because I was very ambitious and excited to be in college. I ended the semester with two C+ and in my eyes, a pretty low GPA.
One of the classes I got a C+ in was American Politics with Dr. Smith. I thought it would be an easy shoo-in class because I had just taken AP government my senior year of high school and did extremely well in the class and on the AP test.
Well this class was extremely hard; the professor was horrible, and I actually failed the first of two tests.
This was concerning for my politics major.
However, I did not give up. I rather decided to take a break from politics and finish up some liberal arts requirements but return to it my sophomore year.
In the spring I took an English class, English 165, British Literature along with Public Speaking in the Communications Department and History.
I loved all of these classes.
I made Dean’s List for the first time in the spring of my freshman year!

When the fall of my sophomore year rolled around, I decided to take Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and U.S. Policy since 2001. A very interesting class and I did really well, but I was starting to fall out of love with politics.

I was confused and did not know what classes to take in the spring semester of my sophomore year. My friend Joe suggested that I go make an appointment with the office of Academic Advising to help guide me and make sure I was on the right track to graduate on time.

I sat down with one of the deans of advising and the first thing she asked me was what I wanted to do after I graduated. 
That was an easy answer for me: law school.

She then asked me what my favorite class was from the year before and my reply was my British Literature.

She also asked what I was involved in on campus. My reply: the school paper, Kappa Delta date function chair, and my blog (p.s. this is my 600th blog post!).

She asked me if I wanted to work in D.C. or in the government?
I told her “not really.”

She then asked me why I was not an English Major?
I had no answer for her.

I left the office skipping onto the bricks on the upper quad. I called my parents grinning saying “I’m going to be an English Major!”

My dad, a businessman, did not like that idea and did not think it would be beneficial to my law school dream. Only after sending my dad this article did he start to see the benefit of an English degree. My mom, a special education teacher, with an appreciation for liberal arts, was more enthusiastic about my new discovery than my father was.

This was the best decision I made at Wake.

Since declaring my double major in English and French in the spring of my sophomore year, I am beyond happy. (For a time, I did move my Politics major to a minor, but quickly decided to drop that). I have learned so much. I have grown so much as a writer, reader and thinker.

I picked English and French because I am so enthusiastic about both of the subjects.
I am genuinely excited to go to my English and French classes every day. That’s the key to picking your major: find out which classes you LOVE to go to! It is okay if you do not know at first what you want to major in or what you want to do after you graduate, I clearly did not. I am going into my senior year and I still have friends who have no clue about what they want to do. So, it is okay! You will figure it out! It is also okay if you pick a major that goes against your parents’ wishes.

With English I am becoming the best critical thinker, best writer and best analyzer I could be.
The English professors at Wake are phenomenal. They are so underrated. I leave all of my English classes amazed by their intelligence. I am star struck by some of my professors. They are teaching me how to think critically and discuss those ideas in class. They are also strengthening my writing skills. News flash: you need writing for everything!

My French major is so fun and was pretty easy for me to do because I started at Wake in French 212. I did well on the AP test in high school and placed into that class. Wake requires a foreign language, so you have to get up to level 200. I only had to take that one class if I wanted to finish the requirement. However, I decided I wanted to continue with French because I had been working on it already for so long. Then when I decided I was going to Dijon for my junior year in the fall I knew I could easily double major because I would receive 15 credits of French and would only be two classes away from the major when I returned from abroad. If you could not tell, going abroad was one of the best experiences of my life and I think everyone should go live in a foreign country for a semester! 

My English major is also helping me prepare for the LSAT, which is my big focus this summer. I have to say; it is actually kind of fun to study for. It’s hard, but I’m enjoying it.

I know that with my English degree from Wake Forest University I will be able to do anything. A liberal arts degree from a top 30 school in the nation has endless possibilities. When I graduate from Wake Forest next May, I feel confident that I will attend a great law school and become a great lawyer, all because of my liberal arts degree.


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