Between Practical and Interesting

Political Science is not the most practical major you can pick in college.  Neither is Sociology, Psychology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Literature, or any other Arts & Humanities major.  Yet I find all those subjects fascinating.  I could’ve picked any one of those but I felt a special connection with PoliSci.

I had taken PS 1 as one of the requirements for my intended major at the time, Business Administration.  They say you can tell if you’re interested in a major by how much you like the intro classes.  I liked PS 1, I loved PS 2, and there was no turning back after that.

Political Science might not have pointed me to a clear career path and it certainly didn’t bring all the recruiters to the table, but I got to study a subject I felt passionate about and that meant so much more to me.

In my Political Theory class, we analyzed the texts of Aristotle and Plato, which helped to satisfy my interest in philosophy and literature.  My knowledge of Singapore’s history and culture from taking “The Politics of Southeast Asia” came into play recently when I visited the country for the first time.

My maths skills might have deteriorated since Calculus BC, but I have no fear of timed writing and reading comprehension is my strongest section on the LSAT.  I am analytical, argumentative, and make it a habit to look at a problem from all possible angles.  Those are the skills you can gain from an impractical major like Political Science.

When I finally decided on PoliSci as my major, I was fully aware of how useful it would be once I graduated, which is why I decided to pick a second, more practical major: Mass Communications (a.k.a. Media Studies).  MassComm would bring home the bacon while PoliSci spent all day volunteering at the shelters.

Truthfully, I don’t give MassComm enough credit, sometimes I even forget I double majored.  But till this day, I cannot look at the Skyy Vodka ads without scowling at the way they use the female body as a sexual object and I will never accept vampires, the symbol of sexual deviance, to be portrayed as pale humans that sparkle under the sun.  Attending lectures for MassComm also forced me to get out of sweats once in a while and put on some makeup.  The stereotype is true, that major is full of sorority girls and they bring their A game to class; whoever said there are no hot girls at Berkeley has never taken MassComm 10.

I’ll admit I did not pick the most practical majors in college nor did I have a specific career in mind when I arrived at Berkeley at 18.  But my college education was an invaluable investment, one that I am extremely proud of.  I have never regretted picking the majors I did, though for a brief moment yesterday, I thought, “hmm, maybe I would’ve enjoyed majoring in Literature more.”

At least I didn’t major in Music…but don’t think it didn’t cross my mind.


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