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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Does major matter?



According to the New York Times, by the end of the freshman year, 25 per- cent of first-year students will have changed their minds about their field of study.

Wofford has 25 major fields of study, as well as minors, concentrations and emphases. To help sort through the list, a few Wofford students provide some insight on what it is like to be in their major.

Why did you choose your major?

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“I came to Wofford knowing that I would major in biology. I had been encouraged to take a few computer science courses as part of the Emphasis in Computational Science. I was honestly a bit wary because I had never been exposed to programming before, but I was placed in the intro level computer science course during my first semester of college. I was surprised to find that I absolutely loved it. After taking the second course in the sequence in the spring of my freshman year, I declared the computer science major along with the biology major.” – Alissa Williams, double major in computer sciences and biology.

“I love reading and studying literature because of what you can learn about history through it. English is one of the few things I could keep studying for four years and still get excited about.” – Mary Baldwin, English major.

“I really enjoyed the religion classes I was taking, and why not major in some- thing you enjoy studying?” – Angela Ditolla, religion major.

“I love all the mind-twisting things that come with being a math major.” – McKenzie Blanton, mathematics major.

“Economics is my ‘fun major.’ Since high school, economics has always interested me and I knew I wanted to learn more about the subject. After taking my first accounting class with Dr. Johnson, I knew accounting was my future. It seemed only logical to put the two together.” –Rachel Dillon, double major in accounting and economics.

“I loved the subjects of history and government. All of my professors are amazing and each department becomes like family after a while. How can you not love your major when you’re surrounded by wonderful people?” – Jessica LeGrand, double major in government and history.

What is the hardest thing about your major and why?

“Doing the readings ahead of time and not at five in the morning the day of a test.” – Kelly Schlarbaum, biology major.

“For me, understanding art theory is the hardest part of art history. It isn’t something that a lot of people are exposed to and it really isn’t needed in the sur- vey courses. I pretty much hit the ground running in my upper level courses.” – Gabby Brizel, art history major.

“I think the hardest thing is consistently being de- voted to the study of the Chinese language. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to develop language skills from a beginning level, all the way through a professional skill level.” – Dillan Trojan, Chinese major.

“Fixing bugs in programs can be pretty difficult. The problems aren’t even necessarily difficult; it’s just that it’s kind of like trying to edit your own English paper—you tend to see what you meant, whereas someone else will find the mistake. It can be frustrating when you’ve sat staring at a piece of code for hours, trying to figure out what’s wrong, only to find that you left out a colon or paren- theses.” – Alissa Williams, double major in computer sciences and biology.

“I have to read hundreds of pages every week, and at the end of last semester I cranked out about 38 pages worth of essay in about two weeks. It’s pretty work-in- tensive if you don’t stay on top of it.” – Mary Baldwin, English major.

What do you think is most misunderstood about your major?

“A lot of people think that psychology is not a science. It’s sometimes frustrating to have people not believe that your major is a real science: we have labs, create experiments, and write out lab reports like all the other sciences.” – Aubrey Knight, psychology major.

“Nobody knows how to react when I tell them I’m a sociology major. They have no idea what follow up questions to ask me because the idea that a sociology major could have a career confuses them to no end.” – Maggie Sessoms, sociology major.

“The stereotype I hear very often is ‘physics is hard’ or ‘you must be smart.’ I do not think this is true. I think physics, as other subjects, can be easy or hard; it depends on what your abilities are.” – Ferdinand Harerimana, physics major.

“People don’t fully understand the wide use mathematics has. I’ve met mathematicians who work for the U.S. National Security in D.C. It’s really amazing how much you can do with math.” – McKenzie Blanton, mathematics major.

“I think the most common one is that individuals can- not do anything with a philosophy degree. It really just makes me laugh because philosophy majors have the opportunity to do whatever they want after graduating. There is one graduate who had a degree in philosophy and is currently at dental school.” – Hattie Weber, philosophy major.

“You don’t have to do any real work, your homework is just reading books!’ Analyzing and writing about literature at a college level can be just as difficult as lab reports, if not more so.” –Mary Baldwin, English major.

“I think people believe that art historians just look at paintings all day and memorize little facts about them. Art history is so much more. We have to understand theory, history and culture, as well as all of those little facts.” – Gabby Brizel, art history major.

Which major—aside from your own—do you think is the hardest on campus?

“I think any of the science majors can be classified as the most difficult on campus.” – Rachel Dillon, double major in accounting and economics.

“I have a ton of respect for math majors. I can’t imagine taking proofs; it’s such a different way of thinking.” – Alissa Williams, double major in computer sciences and biology.

“Theatre. I have taken a few theatre classes and they were some of the hardest courses I have ever taken. In theatre you are always ‘on’ and have to be to- tally involved. You can’t just sit in the back of the class and cruise through.” – Jessica LeGrand, double major in government and history.

“I’ve heard government/ pre-law majors have even more reading and writing than us. Props to them.” – Mary Baldwin, English major.

“I’ve always thought that for me, some sort of complicated science major would be difficult, but I don’t think there are hard majors, rather majors that some people are just less willing to put forth the effort in.” – Dillan Trojan, Chinese major.

What career do you hope to pursue after college?

“After Wofford, I’m hoping to attend graduate school to pursue my master of accountancy. From there, I plan to sit for the CPA exam and work for a big-four firm. Eventually, I would like to return to the classroom as an accounting professor.” — Rachel Dillon, double major in accounting and economics.

“I hope on branching military intelligence in the Army after I graduate and I hope that this (and speaking German and Arabic if these two semesters go well) will bring me closer to that goal.” – Dillan Trojan, Chinese major.

“I am hoping to go on to medical school after college. If that doesn’t work out, I want to be a zookeeper.” – Kelly Schlarbaum, biology major.

“After college, I plan to be an event planner. There is a company I interned with over the summer in New York City that I would love to go back to upon graduation.” – Hattie Weber, philosophy major.

“I am most interested in being an actuary, but I am also looking into risk analysis and similar fields. But really the doors are still wide open.” – McKenzie Blanton, mathematics major.

“I am hoping to enter a Ph.D. program in bioinformatics (essentially the field that merges biology and computer science) after graduating in the spring.” – Alissa Williams, double major in computer sciences and biology.

“After college, I am planning to go to graduate school in civil engineering.” – Ferdinand Harerimana, physics major.

“I’m not sure. I’m thinking of going into publications, but haven’t really looked into it yet. I might become an elementary school teacher or use my Spanish major to work with teaching English. Writer is also not out of the question.” – Mary Baldwin, English major.

“I want to go into either clinical psychology or neuroscience.” – Aubrey Knight, psychology major.

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