Opinion: being “undecided” causes more stress

Being "undecided" with my college major may be one of the biggest stresses on my life right now. It’s difficult to envision what to do with your life and what your future will look like. Although it is more taxing for this T.V. junkie to decide among all the professions television encourages me to be. Oh, and every time I finally make a decision, some unexpected and undesirable requirement for that major or career stands in my way.

Courtesy of CollegeDegrees360/Flickr

Courtesy of CollegeDegrees360/Flickr

As I watch House M.D. curled up in my snuggie at 3 a.m., captivated by yet another dramatic, feel-good rerun featuring science and drama and plot twists, I decide I want to be a doctor. I want to spend the rest of my life in scrubs. I’m already on the pre-med track; Hugh Laurie’s charisma simply reaffirms my plans.

The next day I dust off my brother’s five-pound Organic Chemistry Fifth Edition textbook along with its solution manual and immerse myself in the wonders of nomenclature. Surprisingly enough, I find the dreaded “orgo” to be quite a hoot. Naming and drawing hydrocarbons is sort of like a game. Someone should make an app. Stereochemistry is a delight in itself; picturing molecules in three dimensions has nothing to do with memorization and everything to do with logic. I have shaken hands with Organic Chemistry, and he’s not the jerk everyone thinks he is. I’m feeling good. Come at me MCAT.

Then I find the sensational show, Girls, on HBO on demand. I’m captivated by the first episode. I roll my eyes at Sex In The City and ridiculous dramas like Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars, but there is something profoundly raw and unique and delightfully awkward about Girls. The rolling credits catch my eye. One name appears over and over. The writer, producer, and lead are all the same person: Lena Dunham. She has become my idol. I read her biography on IMDB and find her on Twitter. I’m obsessed, and I’m starting to feel all romantic and sentimental and inspired.  What kind of 20-something-year-old out of college writes and produces a hit television show that she also stars in? Lena Dunham. And maybe one day this average Asian girl here, minus the starring and producing. I’ve always loved writing and comedy and I have no doubt in my mind that comedic writing is the career for me. But there are so many writers and only one Lena Dunham. Even so, I would enjoy teaching creative writing, or doing freelance, or living off welfare whilst producing fiction that doesn’t sell. But my newfound plan soon goes to hell as I flip to the English Major section in the Boston College 2012-2013 catalogue and cringe at the extensive literature requirements. I vowed after high school that I would never read Shakespeare,  Beowulf or anything by Jane Austen ever again so help me God.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Back to the drawing board. As I desperately scan pre-med forums for advice, the one thing I come back to over and over again is “unless you’re passionate about medicine and can’t see yourself doing anything else, don’t be premed because it’s not worth the time and hard work.” Am I passionate about medicine? Does liking House count? Probably not. And I can see myself doing many other things: education, professional dog walker, secretary, statistician. Yet I can’t help feeling too many ships have sailed. I’m just a girl in a life jacket, bobbing around in the ocean, too far from any one island to make it to safety unless I swim unreasonably hard for a ridiculous amount of time. But swimming is a strenuous workout and I’m not good at it.

gavel4When I actually log on to Agora Portal and look at my “current courses,” I am registered as a Computer Science major in the Carroll School of Management 2016. I tell everyone I’m transferring out, but I’m not entirely sure. I love economics, but I hate business. I enjoy writing, but I abhor literature. I’m enamored by math and physics, but I more or less suck at it. I’m pals with Python, but want to murder Java with a machete. I want to be coworkers with Dr. Chase, but he doesn’t exist in real life. I kind of want to be filthy rich so I can build an animal shelter and live in a brownstone in Boston, but I’m sort of too lazy. When I watch food network, I want to be a chef. I would love to be a therapist or psychologist, but I’m paranoid my clients may shoot me in my sleep. And when innocent, unassuming folks ask me what I’m majoring in I respond “biology with a concentration in computer science.” It has a nicer ring to it than “undecided.”


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