(Major) Aspirationsby Taran Moriates on Sep, 22 2012
I think I can sum up my interactions with a majority of people I met in my first week here at Cal with three questions: “What’s your name, where are you from, and what’s your major?” Small talk at its finest and seemingly a way to judge whether or not you want to talk to this person again after this 10 second introduction, as if someone saying they are from LA or The Bay is a prime signifier of this.
I always struggled to answer the last of these three questions. Major. What is that anyway? I’m just a wide-eyed freshman that still gets excited about pushing the start button on the washing machine and waiting to have clothes that have a smell that is socially acceptable. I could tell you what my major is just as well as I can tell you why I have recently started to like Justin Bieber. I don’t know, man. I just don’t.
A main reason for my hardship, I presume, is the fact that I have so many ambitions that seemingly don’t coincide with a Berkeley major choice. That’s my problem.
You see, for example, I just can’t decide what to major in to accomplish my goal of becoming Jack Sparrow. Would Peace and Conflict Studies prepare me to prance away from white-wigged aristocrats with my arms flying all over the place in the air? Or maybe Psychology will help me to be able to pull off the classic “this is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Taran Moriates” escape shenanigans. I can’t major in frat parties either, even though those would be quite handy in building up a tolerance for all the rum that our good friend Jack consumes.
And my struggles of deciding don’t end there. I just don’t see how a major in Molecular and Cell Biology will make my application to be a hot air balloon pilot stand out from the other resumes. And I really doubt that a degree in Political Science will give me an edge in the audition to be a background dancer in PSY’s “Gagnam Style” music video. Don’t even get me started on the legendary and prestigious position of being the next Crocodile Hunter. Blimey, I don’t think I can learn how to wrangle stingrays here at Berkeley.
Obviously, there’s just no way that I am in any position to pick my major at this point. There’s simply too much I want to do that I know nothing about yet. The only thing I’ve become a master at so far is rejecting and avoiding the innumerable flyers on Sproul (even when I have to sacrifice my conscience by declining the flyer-hander-outer who asks me if I want to help stop world hunger—your guilt can’t get me, brah).
I’m going to go where the scholarly winds of the best public university in the world blows me. Which, in this case, would be on the side of Telegraph Ave. with a cardboard sign that reads “failed pirate, Animal Planet star, and fortune cookie writer. Need help.” Sigh… Sorry, Mom and Dad.