When I was little, I used to collect rocks. From age 6 to about 13, I wanted to be a geologist. Then as my interests changed, I went from geologist to architect, to economist (where I stayed). Since Goshen does not have an economics program, I started down the dark path of accounting.Alas, I chose it as my major in less than five minutes under the whims of Dr. Ross Peterson-Veatch on that fateful day in mid-July. At the time, my logic was this: accounting has numbers and economics has numbers so they must be the same. I now know this logic is akin to: my pet fish’s name is Nate, and my roommate’s name is Nate, so they must have similar personalities.
Now, I am almost two years deep into the accounting abyss. I am approaching the event horizon, and I write this as a plea for help.
I can’t tell people I am an accounting major anymore. Even adults and friends who are normally so good at hiding their reaction make no effort to restrain their distaste. Consistently their faces cringe up and sometimes they even take a step backward, like Professor Lupin’s class in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” when they face the boggart.
I feel as if society has cornered me like a scared animal. The stars have aligned against me. The registrar’s office is located nearly half a mile away, deep inside a complex maze of desks and cubicles only open on weekdays.
Three semesters into this liberal arts college, my life has been decided. Now I must compete to climb the corporate ladder, to make the most money and advance the economic disparity bred through our great nation’s capitalist system.
I am consoled by the possibility of not turning into a corporate zombie. After all, Andrew Hartzler is living proof. After decades in the field cubicle, his boyish bangs and high school physique make him look not a day over 25.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but if “The Accountant” accurately portrays the true hidden nature of accounting, then I am currently being tricked into greatness. Unfortunately, if that doesn’t turn out to be true, my window to jump in on the conspiracy will be closed.
The best advice I can give first-year students is to choose your major well in those 5 minutes because it is unlikely you will get a second chance. Some people will try to tell you it doesn’t matter what your undergraduate degree is. My pastor Ken says God wants you to major in Him and minor in what you previously wanted.
And so, I have realized I am not alone in the world. In fact, there are millions of others out there sharing the sad trajectory of corporate employment. We are all pawns on this blessed day.