I was in the middle of a long training run one morning and the song "The Dash" by Scotty McCreery shuffled through my playlist. As I ran the words resonated with me. As a historian, the following lines perfectly describe why I chose to major in history. Scotty McCreery sings,
"It ain't about the numbers
Chiseled in concrete
It's how they lived their lives
In the dash between"
Stories. History is about stories. Often, we spend hours researching a person or an event. When introducing a new person to the narrative of your paper you often include the year a person was born and the year that they passed away, but the rest of the piece is about how they lived their life in the dash between.
For as long as I can remember I have had a love for history. This can be traced back to elementary social studies classes, junior high and high school history classes, and lower level history courses in college. Initially, I was not a History major; I actually began college with the intentions of completing a pre-pharmacy degree. My first year of college was miserable. I didn't like my classes and dreaded going to labs. So the summer after my first year of college I changed my major to history. After all, this was my true passion.
I spent the next year taking classes that I loved and learning lots of new things. I took my first women's history class and my professor encouraged me to continue pursuing this field. I finished my Associate degree in history and transferred to a four-year university. I took several more history classes and chose to add a geography minor! I learned so much over the next two years – ancient history, American history, historical geography, and more. I completed my Bachelor's degree in history (with a minor in geography) and loved every aspect of the process. I learned things constantly and had professors who truly cared about me.
I loved school and learning so much that I chose to pursue a Master's degree in history! After two more years of school, I completed this degree with a major focus in American History and a minor focus in World History.
I guess you could say that I have a passion for history! Allow me to explain why history is my passion. I chose to major in history because I love stories. History is one of those subjects that some people might argue has no "absolutes," but that is why I love it so much. People are complicated. History is complicated. When studied history allows us to grapple with the past and learn from it. History shouldn't have to repeat itself for us to get the point.
I will forever be grateful that I chose to major in History. Don't ever be afraid to follow your dreams. If you pick something that you are truly passionate about, then it will never feel like you have to go to work. You'll want to go to work because you love what you do.
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