The University had a Career Fair last night, but I did not attend. Why did I not attend? Because two days ago I got into grad school!! I was babysitting on Wednesday afternoon for my favorite bilingual two-year-old when my phone rang with an unknown number. I don’t usually answer unknown calls (or any personal calls when I am babysitting, just to be clear!) but this call had a Seattle area code and I had a feeling I knew who it was. My intuition was correct – it was a professor from the University of Washington. My heart was racing and every second felt like an hour as he told me that the University had finished reviewing my application. They were impressed, and they had decided to offer me admission. I could have died right then. But there was more, oh was there more! Not only was I accepted, but they were going to offer me a package. A package? Full tuition, health insurance and a stipend! I had tried to maintain composure and act professional but after that point I couldn’t contain myself. By far the happiest/proudest/most exciting moment of my life. So to all of my relatives, my dad’s golf friends, my dentist, my favorite bank teller and all of the other well-intentioned nosy people in my life – I know what I am doing after graduation – you can start hounding me again in two years.
I remember last spring, sitting in my car out front of the bank after depositing my summer research grant stipend. At that moment I was the most proud of myself I had ever been. Someone had just paid me to do art history, the thing that I loved. I remember saying to myself that this was the first time I was getting paid to do art history but it was not going to be the last. I was going to do everything I could to make sure of that. And here I am again, almost one year later, getting paid to do art history. I don’t know for certain that I will end up having or even wanting a career as an art historian in ten years, but I know that I as of now, I am at least going to try.
I swore to my friends and myself that I would never sappily address this blog to prospective students, but I’m about to do it anyways… Anyone who is reading this – but especially prospective students – you need to major in what you want to major in no matter what anyone says! If you want to major in classics but your parents want you to major in molecular/cellular biology, don’t do it! Major in classics and be the best classics major (or whatever) you can be. Study as hard you can, take every opportunity that is offered, interact with your professors, take hard classes and get the best grades you can. You don’t have to be perfect (I am SO not perfect!) but you have to work your hardest and take things seriously. If you follow this course you might not get everything you want but you will come out of it with more than you would by taking a path someone else chose for you. It doesn’t matter if some random person on a plane doesn’t think you should study the humanities, it matters what you think. If you love what you are studying and you work hard, you will be successful and happy. You will succeed in getting the most out of your time at Puget Sound and learn an incredible amount about yourself and what you are capable of.