Why I No Longer Want To Be An Environmental Studies Major

Everyone seems to know me as the person in the friend group who always insists on recycling that bottle to keep it out of a landfill or turning the lights off to save energy.

I love the idea of living a green life and I definitely plan on doing the basics now, like turning the lights off, recycling, and not wasting paper when I don't have to. However, I think it will be easier to fully exercise environmentalism when I am in the "real world" and no longer have to balance school while on such a low budget.

Environmentalism is simply doing your duty to care of the planet and leaving as little a carbon footprint as you can, while also educating those around you as to why you are doing what you're doing. I want to be able to call myself an environmentalist because I believe taking care of the earth is extremely important and is our obligation since we live here. This was a huge reason I chose to major in environmental studies.

However, throughout freshman year, I would repeatedly question my major and never knew how to answer when people asked me what I wanted to do with my major. I think working with National Geographic, for example, would be amazing but I have no idea what I would do with the major for that company.

I knew one thing for sure: I was not completely happy or satisfied with the classes I was taking or the major I was in. So, I found a list of every single major and minor at USC and whittled it down to a few choices. Right now, I am leaning towards a major in either public policy or urban studies and planning under the Price School of Public Policy and a double minor in occupational science and environmental studies.

I am interested in the public policy school because I want to make an impact in our society and I feel that, with either major I am most interested in, I would be able to see my work making a change. This is also the case with occupational science; even if I am only helping a few people, I will be changing their lives for the better.

With environmental studies, the vagueness of the major and the hopelessness of being able to inspire people to become more environmentally-friendly frustrated me immensely. However, I am choosing to step down to the minor because I am still passionate about saving the environment, without a doubt. I just feel that living the green life is something I would rather do myself than go about telling other people to do.

So, next semester the plan is that I will officially be a declared major in the Price School and have a double minor. I will have to stay at USC for one additional semester, but I am content with this decision (other than the financial implications) because it feels right.

I don't know exactly what I want to do for a living but my new major and minor choice feels much more feasible and workable and I can still envision myself doing something great. I'm excited to see what the future holds for me.

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