As the third week of my sophomore year comes to a drastic close, I realized the constancy in the amount of workload assigned by professors on a given day. But despite the hectic schedule, I deem these moments of action to be the moments where I can truly feel my conscience navigating through the labyrinthine college path.
Labyrinthine it may be, college seems to hold a certain degree of perpetuity in the past and in the present. Last year, I changed my focus of studies from concentrating on pre-medical studies to optimistically declaring my academic focus as “Undecided” (though I am planning on declaring math and history). This radical academic transformation of mine was certainly met with skepticism and backlash from people around me, including some from my friends and family.
Despite my reorientation of academic goals, I am perpetually learning and perpetually curious about the topics that intrigue me and enthrall me. One criticism I received from my friend was that by ditching the pre-medicine route and opting for a study in humanities and mathematics, I was “copping out” from the intolerable weight put on pre-med students. But after taking classes in modern Japanese history and global environmental history this semester, I cannot reinforce how utterly and horrendously wrong this preconception is.
When one notices that the grass is greener on the other side, it may also be the case that the observed grass may actually be the same shade of green as the one he or she is stepping on. It would be hypocritical of me to deny the fact that I, too, saw the grass of humanities to be greener than the grass of laboratories and sciences. However, as I slowly start examining the grass of humanities up close and personal through the telescope of an ex-pre-med student, I am realizing the breadth of intellectual vigor humanities can offer.
History is a topic of much speculation and vigilance, as one needs to keep up-to-date with the current event as well as preserve the heritage of the past and construct a framework for the future based on these heritages. I am excited to engage in the study of history, and although it requires extensive reading and annotation, I am genuinely challenged and piqued by the text.
When I tell people I am studying math and history at college, they look at me as if I am academically confused or pragmatically unsound. Some of their prejudice makes sense; after all, there is a striking dichotomy between my areas of academic focus. But the inquiry into two definitively different studies makes my academic career all the more exciting, and as I have mentioned before, I am studying math and history under the perpetuity of intellectual curiosity that is laden underneath the subjects. Be it physics, biology, psychology, or math, there will always be a thirst for learning, questions, and conjectures.