Why You Should Study Anthropology

Sociology Was Not For Me — But It Did Lead Me To Anthropology

As I like to call it: people watching.

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We have all been in an ice breaker situation, especially in college. You will introduce yourself and talk about where you are from and why you chose that specific school in that specific town. And, in the midst of all this, you were probably asked what your major is. In my case, people are usually confused about what my major is a lot. Anthropology is not exactly a household term. This is my story about why and how I became an Anthropology major.

I'm from Chicago, a bustling city full of people. I spent my time at home or at school. It was how I was raised, not that I liked it at all. No wonder there was this strong curiosity to learn more about other people. My senior year, my homeroom teacher told me about Sociology, the study of human society. She said it seemed to fit me. I was someone who would sit back and ask questions. I still participated: raising my hand, talking to people, hanging with friends. And yet, I would still question everything. I decided to make sociology my major with the hopes of learning more about human society. I know I sound like an alien, but that's how I felt a lot of the time.

Over the summer, I started going out more than I did in high school. That summer I realized I like to just watch society be sometimes. For example, when I commute on the train, I would listen to my music and stay on my phone and people watch. I notice the person who's late for work because they're in a suit, bouncing their leg, and constantly looking back up at the train map. Or maybe it's an interview? It might sound like profiling from a crime show, but it's all related to studying human society.

Originally, I applied to Illinois State University as a Theater major. The thing is, I misread my acceptance email and thought I wasn't accepted yet. This gave me some time to rethink my plans. Instead, after my summer of people watching, I reapplied with my major in Sociology and was accepted. When I began school, I had my first Sociology class and knew I was pursuing the right major. Wrong! Not that it wasn't still a great major, I realized there was something even better for me.

As I'm getting ready to go into my major after my sophomore year, I decided to look at my major requirements. I noticed that the department was titled Sociology and Anthropology. "What's Anthropology," my brain asked, full of curious energy. I go to look and see it's not too much different than Sociology, but it did seem to delve more into different cultures and ethnic studies. It is at this time that I have to tell you about my love for culture.

It started with Greek plays, mythology, different religions, and historical fiction books. After watching Japanese anime (yes, anime), I wanted to study Japanese as a language and culture. Russian, German, Spanish, and French were added later. One thing would always lead to another interest. Different kinds of dancing, musicals, plays, and books. Representation in media and television of these various cultures and people. Subverting stereotypes and myths through historical and realistic fiction. These are just some of my interests. Anthropology just seemed to suit me better.

Anthropology is an amazing major and I love it. I have yet to meet other people in my major on my campus, but I hope to meet them and have so much to talk about.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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