Friday, June 12, 2020

Microstory 1385: Choosing a Major

College Advisor: Hi, GED Earner. I’m College Advisor.
GED Earner: Hello, I’m GED Earner. I mean...obviously you know that. Sorry.
College Advisor: It’s okay. So, what brings you into the office today?
GED Earner: I was hoping for some help with choosing my major.
College Advisor: It’s the second week of school.
GED Earner: I know. I was just so busy with my courses. They all gave out a lot more homework than I thought they would after the first class.
College Advisor: No, I mean that it’s a bit early to be making this decision. Of course you can declare a major now, but I recommend you wait until the middle of your first semester of sophomore year to really start thinking about it. The first few semesters are about fulfilling your general education requirements, and figuring out how to answer that question.
GED Earner: I already have my general education degree.
College Advisor: No, for college. You have a high school equivalent. Everyone at this school, however, has to take several of the same classes, regardless of what their degree ends up being. Everybody’s gotta take math, and English, and some science, for instance.
GED Earner: Oh. Yeah, I’m taking all those.
College Advisor: How many hours are you taking this semester?
GED Earner: Uhh...twenty.
College Advisor: That’s quite a bit, for your first year, especially. That’s what, six classes? I imagine one of them is a science credit with a lab.
GED Earner: That’s right. The system wouldn’t let me sign up for more than that.
College Advisor: I actually recommend you drop two or three of those. At least one. You gotta get rid of one. That’s just too much work.
GED Earner: You don’t think I can handle it, because I didn’t graduate from high school?
College Advisor: You did graduate. You just missed some of the lectures and passing periods. Never let anyone tell you that your diploma isn’t real because you got it from a special program. This school doesn’t let anyone in who can’t handle it. Anyone who drops out does so because they don’t believe in themselves, or they have other obstacles, like financial constraints, or family emergencies. That means you belong here, and we want you here. You can handle this work, but twenty hours is a lot. You want your first semester to be—not easy—but more of a taste of what’s to come. If you try to take on too much at once, you’ll burn out. You might still remain a student, but you’ll be more inclined to take far too few classes later, and you won’t want to work hard. Trust me, I’ve seen it a million times. Please drop one course. You can always take it later.
GED Earner: Okay, I can do that. I don’t much care for my Logic professor, so I guess I would rather roll the dice, and hope I get someone better next time.
College Advisor: Okay, cool. So. As far as your major goes, I still think you should wait, but for next semester, we can discuss what kinds of things you like to do, and what you’re good at. That way you can start to tailor your class load a little. Some general requirements do allow for substitutes, in case you prefer something slightly different.
GED Earner: Well, I don’t really like any of the subjects. That’s why I didn’t finish school the first time around.
College Advisor: There was never a class where you thought, I don’t hate this quite as much as the others?
GED Earner: Wull. I guess I didn’t hate gym class. But you can’t take gym in college.
College Advisor: The hell you can’t! We have a great physical education department here!
GED Earner: You do?
College Advisor: Of course. Team sports, exercise, track and field. Even dance. Were you thinking you wanted to teach?
GED Earner: I hadn’t really given it much thought.
College Advisor: Then let’s think about it now. Let me pull up some information about what you can do with a degree in physical education.
GED Earner: Oh, wow. Thanks.

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