Among the many things I’m uncertain about, I’m unsure if anyone really cares what a first-year student has to say about not having a major.
My consolation is that I am sure that I’m the only person in the world who has ever had doubts about decisions for their future. No? Well, I guess this one goes out to anyone who has ever questioned their own choices.
When making decisions about what college to attend, none of them were based on a specific field I wanted to study. The closest I came to that kind of choice happened when a professor at Hesston College told me that I should call myself a “deciding major” instead of “undecided.” I thought, “Yes! This is a place where they put a positive spin on being unsure!”
And yet, I did not go to Hesston, because it is a two-year college. That meant I would have to make another life decision after just two more years. Instead, I decided that I could be a deciding student at heart here at Goshen College under that sadder moniker “undecided.”
I find some liberation in not committing myself to any area of study, but as a deciding student, the question that most consistently fills me with dread is still: “So what’s your major?” I know that my response, that I am “undecided,” will require one of three reactions:
Reaction 1: “But what are you considering?”
I know that it’s perfectly reasonable to inquire about my interests, but I typically grant a shifty response. Things like “Not Education” or “Maybe Something Like History” or if I’m feeling ambitious “Probably Hobology” (the science of being a hobo).
It’s not that I’m not considering certain things more than others. It’s just that you can be an undecided person who has actually declared a major and are now having deep doubts about this choice.
I refuse to declare anything before most of my deepest doubts are assuaged. I would be hiding behind a false decision if I had declared short of what I felt confident about.
Reaction 2: “It’s okay! You’ve got time!”
Again, this is another well-meaning statement. It is okay. I do have some time. But it’s the mere implication that there is some time frame in which to decide that is somewhat nerve-wracking.
Reaction 3: “Good.”
The rarest response, but my favorite by far. I most recently received it from an apparently legendary art professor emeritus, who added, “I’ve always been undecided.” No further conversation required.
The person who utters a response like this instinctively understands that some people need to allow their life-choices space in which to grow. A pursuit of more information for their own satisfaction is unnecessary, and probably won’t get them a real answer.
So in conclusion, I’ll leave all you people who know exactly what you’re doing with your life three reasons why it’s okay to be deciding about things: 1) you can claim to be studying Hobology 2) you have more space to objectively observe your possibilities 3) you can realize that when you finally do make a decision, nothing is truly final or decided.
With every decision made comes more to make, so just enjoy the decision-making process.