My Life As… A Double Major
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Most college students struggle to complete one degree in four years, often taking an extra football season to finish or going on the five-year plan. Well, imagine trying to get two degrees in four years. And being in a sorority. And working. And having a boyfriend. And trying to maintain social skills. And watching Glee every Tuesday. Seems crazy right? Welcome to my life.
My friends think I’m nuts. Not because of my double major status, but rather the majors I’ve decided to take on. My primary is Telecommunications and Film with a concentration in Broadcast News, and my secondary is English. While both are pretty harmless separately, together it’s a deadly combination. Telecommunications requires a lot of outside work, plus you pretty much have to work at the TV station to get anywhere, which I’ve yet to do. English requires tons of reading and papers, plus I have to take four semesters of the same foreign language. I find that very strange for an English major, but this has given me the opportunity to take up Italian.
Thankfully, I’ve finished my core classes so I don’t have to waste my time with math (I.hate.numbers.) and can focus on classes that I enjoy. That’s probably the best thing about my double majoring: I love my classes. I love British Literature and History of Mass Communications. I don’t have to worry about Philosophy 101 anymore (worst class everrr) or other electives. That’s right, because I’m pursuing two degrees I don’t have to take electives. No Social Dance or 1-credit Running classes for me!
Another major double-major perk? My teachers know who I am! Alabama is a very large school, so most students don’t get the opportunity to really get to know their teachers. But because I practically live in two buildings on campus, my teachers see me all. the. time. On days when I only have an hour between class, I’ll go hang out in the next building and look productive. This gives me a chance to talk to my profs before class, which is great because when my classes are over I’m booking it to the next. This also gives me the chance to butter them up for those inevitable weeks when there is just too much on my plate and I need a little help in the ways of an extension. No, it doesn’t work all the time, but my track record is definitely better than others I know.
But, of course, there are some downsides to this decision. (Honestly, having one major is stressful enough; having two is pure insanity.) The College of Communication & Information Sciences and the College of Arts & Sciences have classes available around the same times, meaning that I have to work on my schedule for days to figure out how to take the right amount in order to graduate. Intro to Broadcasting and Chaucer occur at same time in the fall, so I have to settle for Shakespeare way later in the day (and there’s nothing worse than a 5 hour break and then having to go back out to class….). If that’s not annoying enough, a lot of the classes overlap and it’s a serious pain in the butt. Last semester I took three English classes in one semester (oh the papers!). It was a terrible nightmare, but also necessary if I want to graduate on time.
And then there’s the stress. When you take three English classes and two TCF classes at the same time, chances are you’ll have two tests on the same day or four in the same week. And a paper due. I’ve come to depend on my personal coffee maker to get me through the days (and all-nighters), and I don’t go anywhere without lots of snacks just in case I’m stuck in the library for hours trying to get everything done. The worst part of it all: none of my single-major friends get it. They don’t understand the double amount of work or stress, and they can’t empathize with my mild meltdowns and irrational mood swings come midterms. And don’t even get me started on the guilt trips when I miss yet another Thursday Happy Hour outing.
But this is the life I’ve chosen.
I’m the kind of person who likes to be busy, so double majoring is good for me. Sometimes I have to stay in on Thursday and Friday nights to study. Sometimes I drink four cups of coffee before going to class because I had two papers to write and fifty pages to read. For me, it’s worth the stress, and despite it all, I still have time for other things. I still go out, watch TV with my roomie, and veg at the sorority house.
I’m excited to get two diplomas when I graduate and look forward to the feeling of accomplishment (and the bragging rights) when I look back and see what I finished in just four years.