Major Incompatibility

15 Sep

Remember in Tarzan (the original Disney version) when he was a kid and he always thought he was a gorilla, but then he found out he wasn’t? Remember how he wanted to find where he belonged so he spent a great montage impersonating other animals to find his fit? That was pretty much me my freshman year of college. I came into college thinking I was sure of my major and my career path, but four weeks in I hated it. While it wasn’t as traumatizing as finding out you aren’t the animal you grew up thinking you were and having a complete identity crisis, it was really hard feeling like I didn’t belong in my major or fit with the people in it.

swinging with monkey

Like Tarzan, I didn’t find where I belonged right away. I decided to change my major, but at this point it was too late in the semester to switch classes, so I had to stick out the next three months in my original major. It was hard to make friends or connect to the people in my original major because I knew I was leaving the program. I didn’t want to stay in the clubs I had joined for my old major because they were very major specific and I wasn’t interested in them, but I didn’t feel like I could join clubs for my new major because it was already a month into the semester and I didn’t know how to get involved this late in the year.

I felt like every had their place and I was lost. I didn’t feel like I fit in either my old or my new majors and it made my transition really difficult since I hadn’t really made friends outside of classes yet. So what did Tarzan do when he found out he wasn’t a gorilla but didn’t fit with all the other animals either? He adapted to the situation he was in and made the best of it. So that’s exactly what I did.

being a chameleon

One of the best things for me was getting more involved in a club that wasn’t class or school related. Not only was it a great break from the stresses of school, but I also made a ton of great friends. Just like how Tarzan’s friends Terk and Tantor but loved him no matter what type of animal he was, I met people who didn’t care about what I was studying, but cared about me as a person. I also started looking at clubs that I could join for the next semester that were major-specific, which helped me feel really prepared too. While the semester was still hard having to take classes in a field I didn’t want to pursue with people I didn’t feel I fit in with, having other friends and activities really helped me feel like there was a place I belonged.

being like hippo.gif

The lesson I learned in all of this was that it’s ok to feel like you don’t fit in. There’s a lot of people in the exact same position as you, whether you realize it or not. After my freshman year, I met so many people who had been in the same exact boat as me. Good news is if you’re struggling to figure out what major to pursue, what clubs to join, or how to feel like you fit in, there are so many resources to help you out such as your academic advisors, CAPS, the ASUA club website, club fairs, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk to people who have either been there before or know what to do in this situation. You don’t have to change who you are to try to fit in. There’s a perfect place here for you, even if it takes a little trial and error to find it.

-Jess

 

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