My majors mean nothing to me

The views expressed in the following article are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Newswire staff as a whole.


I know. You probably looked at the title, then immediately checked out my little blurb, only to see that I have not one, not two but three majors. Their combined length gives the Opinions & Editorials page editor a headache since he has to fit them all into one space. “Who does this chick think she is?” you might be asking yourself. “How can she say she doesn’t care about majors and yet be committed to so many?”

You have a fair point. To not place significance on my majors that will ideally lead to the career I seek must automatically mean I’m not truly dedicated enough to have them — or any, for that matter — in the first place.

Either on Xavier Preview Day or during Manresa, we had some breakout groups. In mine, I was introduced to an undergrad student who was triple majoring. I’ve long forgotten her year, what her majors were and even what she looked like. However, I remembered the fact that she had three majors. For whatever reason, it stuck with me.

There was never a moment in my Xavier career when I had one single major. Last day of Manresa, I added the English major alongside biology. I looked at this student who admitted to me she was not a double major but a triple major, and I thought to myself,

“Double majoring is manageable, but triple majoring? That’s just too much for me.” The people who triple major are really of a whole other caliber. I was not on this level, so I could never do something like that.

You will not find the biology major in my blurb, so clearly I swapped it for some other things — but because I started attending Xavier as one, I was invited back to the weekly “Freshman Fridays” event held for first-year biology students earlier this semester. I was asked to speak as someone who did not take the “traditional” biology path and is still finding her own success.

Mentioning my old majors and current ones was a crucial part of explaining my path at Xavier up until this point. When I dropped majors like hot potatoes, I got shocked looks, murmurs and suppressed gasps from an otherwise muted first-year crowd. They were giving me the exact same look and thinking the exact same thing I had when I met a triple major several years ago.

Sure, this probably was supposed to be a sign of self-improvement — a “look how far you’ve come” moment. People call me smart, people call me dedicated, people draw all kinds of unflinching conclusions the moment I let slip my academic studies.

But it’s too shallow. Three majors don’t mean anything. The departments attributed to my name are just that. Having two or three majors doesn’t mean I’m also a more accomplished student within each major. It just means I’ve signed up to do triple the work if I intend to maintain the same grades and put forth the same effort.

I’m almost never the “best” student in class, at least in my eyes. Sure, I take every measure I can: I sit at the front, take vigorous notes, do homework whenever I have even a fragment of free time instead of taking time to myself. This places me in what I consider to be the upper tier of the classroom, but never the best. There’s always someone else who knows the answer to a question I don’t. There’s always someone who’s able to solve a problem a little faster than me.

I know the extra amount of time it’ll take to get to the top, but because I depleted just about all of my available time in my other two fields, it is just about impossible for me to make that investment. In other words, while I can be “good” at all three of my majors, I fear I cannot be the best at one. All the time I am spending right now on my three different fields of study could all be poured into a single major. What kind of English major would I be if I was like that? Computer science major? Digital innovation, film and television major? I wonder about that sometimes, though I have no answer.

I just know that what really matter to me are the things I learn through the exploration of the majors I’ve chosen to pursue: how to hold a camera, how to tell a computer to do things and how to write. Not the fancy titles that are associated with them.


Soondos Mulla Ossman is a senior DIFT, English and computer science triple major. She is the Features Editor for the Newswire from Cincinnati.