Changing my Major??


It occurred to me all of yesterday, that I’m not really that excited about my current major. I was looking over all the course requirements I need to fulfill my major, and I really wasn’t all that excited about having to take those classes.

So I have started thinking about changing my major – and I think I’ve found the perfect fit!!
If I really am serious about becoming a translator, I believe that a comparative literature major would be more beneficial. I’ve always enjoyed English class, so I don’t think I’d find comparative literature too dull. Plus, I’ve read on some websites that comparative literature is a good major for people who want to be translators/interpreters.

I’m also thinking of picking up some more minors, to sort of create my own “translation” major. The only problem is I don’t know if that amount of work is doable in 4 years. I plan to graduate on time and don’t want to delay graduation so I can finish up minors.

But OSU offers a professional writing minor and a creative writing minor. Ideally, I’d like to do translation for poetry and prose, but that field is not as lucrative or as easy to break into as other translation fields, so having both minors would help me ensure jobs. You know, I’d have my creative writing minor because that’s what I love to do, and I’d have the professional writing minor as a backup if I couldn’t find translation jobs in poetry & prose.

But I also want to keep my Turkish minor, because you’re obviously not going to get any jobs if you have no 2nd language skills. But to me, 3 minors sounds a little excessive – and like a lot of work. Of course I didn’t come to college looking for an easy ride, but I just wonder if it’s too much??

These ideas are just that though. Ideas. I haven’t officially made up my mind yet, it is just something that has recently popped into my head. Before I make anything official, I’d want to talk to an advisor about this course load and whether it makes sense and is possible to do in 4 years.

As my boyfriend tells me, I just have to find what I’m passionate about – and other than dance, I have no idea what that is. I have lots of “little” interests, but no “big” interests, nothing that I feel super comfortable devoting my entire life to. But then, maybe I’m putting too much weight on my major.
Does your major in college really cement your future life that much??

College = Insanity

Since coming back to school after Christmas break, things have been insane!! I’m in love with all of my classes (except one) but the amount of work I have to do has significantly increased.

I have so much reading to do. I have 2 linguistics classes this quarter, and they both assign about a chapter a week to read. Add on top of that my French culture class (which I’m not taking voluntarily) that has even more reading every week, and it seems like the work never ends. I already have a 2 page paper to write for my French class on the reading we did this past week (which includes a 260 page book and about 26 pages worth of independent articles).

Not to mention, I also have a quiz on IPA (international phonetics alphabet) on Wednesday which is a very scary thing for me. In this linguistics class, the majority of the people there are linguistics majors, but this is my first exposure to actual linguistics – and IPA, is confusing. But I suppose I’ll survive. I just was not prepared for this much work this soon into winter quarter.

Things aren’t all bad though. My boyfriend moved on campus this quarter instead of commuting which makes spending time together a lot easier – which is convenient because we have 2 classes together and LOTS of homework.

I’ve also been thinking about what I want to do with my degree after I graduate. I know I’m only a freshman and graduation is really far off, but I feel like not having some sort of plan is impeding my selection of classes somewhat. For example, I want to learn another language other than Turkish, but not knowing what I want to do after graduation makes the selection of that second language more difficult.

After thinking about it a bit, right now I think I’m leaning towards being a translator after graduation. It seems like a good occupation for me. I enjoy writing and proofreading/editing and I enjoy languages. Plus, I am very good at working alone (in fact I prefer it). So it seems like translating is a good fit for me, I just don’t know where to get started with it – like what kind of courses would be a good idea to take. OSU has a professional writing minor….but I don’t know how helpful that would be.

In terms of a second (technically third language), my boyfriend has suggested learning Uzbek, because it is the only other Turkic language OSU offers, and apparently Uzbekistan is another up-and-comer like Turkey. Plus the nice thing about focusing on Turkic languages is that they are all very similar, some are even mutually intelligible (“speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort”). So by learning Turkish and Uzbek, I would be able to understand basically all the other Turkic languages, and in turn have lots of opportunities for jobs – hopefully. ^_^

One other question I have though, is if I become serious about this translating thing…does my current major really help me with that?? Right now I’m an international studies major with a concentration in the Middle East. I just don’t know how relevant that is to being a translator. I mean, it could be very helpful. A major like that could open many doors to job opportunities (though not necessarily in translating). I just don’t know. I am just a freshman, so I have a while to think about it.

So that’s where I’m at right now, super busy and contemplating my future. :P Obviously I want to master Turkish a little more before attempting another language but yeah, those are just thoughts running through my head right now. Yay college.

Becoming an Expert

I’ve always wanted to become an expert as something, to devote myself fully to something until I became the best. I just don’t know what that something would be.

I know, what about ballet & dance?? That’s the first thing that pops into my mind too. I love ballet and the discipline it requires, but because I started so late, I don’t know if I could ever dance on pointe the way professionals do. And I’d never consider myself an expert at ballet until I learned to dance on pointe. When I started pointe, my foot bones were already fused, so I don’t know if I’d ever be able to dance on pointe relatively pain-free (because my feet are definitely not suited for pointe work naturally). Of course foot bones and some pain are no reason to give up on a dream, but it’s just a thought.

What other things could I devote myself to?? I want to become good at something athletic. I’ve never been particularly gifted in the athletics department, so I’ve always been attracted to the idea of becoming proficient at something athletic. However team sports don’t appeal to me. I like to do things by myself so I can progress at my own pace. That doesn’t leave many things. I’ve considered taking up running, or perhaps martial arts. Maybe yoga??

Anyways, I still really love dance, don’t get that part wrong. I’m just trying out different scenarios in my head. Thinking out loud. Some things (like running or yoga) could go hand in hand with dance. I’ve just always wanted to be able to do something that could wow my friends (like dancing on pointe). Oh who knows?? I’d never give up dance if I have to. And I might still finish learning how to dance on pointe, even if it hurts my feet.

Bettering Yourself

So thanks to the almighty stumbleupon, I discovered some very interesting articles about self-improvement.

Well the first article I found was about self-compassion (Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem), and I found it to be very interesting. Nowadays, everything has become focused on improving kids’ self-esteem and making sure we don’t damage kids’ self esteem. Well, this article shows that self esteem isn’t what’s important, it’s self compassion. The author of the article defines self compassion as “First, it requires self-kindness, that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental. Second, it requires recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering. Third, it requires mindfulness—that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.”

After reading this article, I’d say I’m on my way to developing self compassion, but I definitely still have things to work on. I mainly struggle with the second and third steps. I have problems with feeling connected to other people, and not isolating myself. I tend to be a whiner and I sometimes forget that my problems aren’t all that big or bad. But that also leads me to the next article I found, Who Do You Want to Be? Create a Character Study for Your Ideal Self.

This one I found very enlightening and inspiring. There are definitely things I want to improve on in my life, about myself. I want to be less judgmental towards different people. I want to stop letting little things annoy or stress me out. I want to meditate. I want to be healthier.

Of course, I’m only a teenager, so I have my whole lifetime to work on these things but it’s always better to start instilling good habits early. But I seriously recommend searching around on that last site. I found some other really good motivational and informative articles on there.

But since I’m so busy talking about improving yourself and making yourself a better person in the future, I have been thinking about the future as well (duh, isn’t that ALL I think about?) I’ve been thinking about my childhood dream of being an entrepreneur. Long before I ever even dreamed of being a dancer, I’ve wanted to own my own business. I have no idea what that business would be – but it’s still a dream I’ve had.

Of course only time will tell what the future brings. Right now my main focus is dorm decorating. I don’t think I mentioned in my last blog post that I know my roommate and room number now. Which means I also know my floor plan. I have bunk beds, unfortunately. But luckily, there are 2 closets. They’re small closets, but closets nonetheless. Basically all we’ve bought now is my bedding. I kinds feel like that’s all I need to buy right now. I haven’t had much contact with my roommate, so we haven’t planned out who’s bringing what.

It would be a lot easier to decorate if I didn’t have to worry about another person’s comfort. But that’s college life for you.

Dancing at OSU

I really need to decide what I’m going to do about majoring in dance at OSU. The application for the 2012-2013 school year is up. Should I go ahead and start applying?? Should I wait and see if I like my modern class??

I was actually watching some videos on the dance department’s website. One of the students had only been dancing for 3 years before she auditioned for OSU!! That gives me hope. But I also hope it doesn’t mean it was a bad decision for me to wait a year. Transfer students aren’t given the same priority as incoming freshmen. Hm…I still need to talk to my parents about all this.

I honestly don’t think I’ll be happy with myself unless I do this (audition I mean). Otherwise I’ll always have the regret of “what if?”

Right now though, I need to figure out how I can integrate as much dance as possible into my freshmen year without spending lots of money. I already have my modern class. I’m wondering if I can add on another dance class to my schedule before classes start (there’s a 4 day period between move-in day and first day of classes.) OSU has several dance clubs but I don’t know if any of them will fit my needs.

I honestly need to stop thinking!! Haha. I’m going to wind up way overanalyzing all of this – but it never hurts to have a plan!! If only this were easier…

My parents keep telling me not to worry about money, but seriously, money is the one thing that’s keeping me from fully pursuing this. I don’t know what’s worse: being poor and saddled with debt but happy because I’m dancing or making more money, still possibly happy, with potentially less debt.

I suppose I just need to trust that this will all work itself out, and not worry about the future or the money. I’m a big believer in the idea that if it’s meant to be, it will find a way.

Forecasting the Future

I started thinking about the modern dance class I will be taking this fall, and that inevitably led to me thinking about majoring in dance and trying to be a professional dancer.

As sad as it sounds, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no future for me in professional dance. And here are my reasons why:

1.) The economy.
Even the best dancers don’t make a lot of money compared to other jobs. As superficial as it sounds – I need money. I already can barely afford to go where I’m going to college. I need to be able to get a good job after college so I can pay off my student loans. And the job market for dancers is slim.

2.) The stigma.
I’m just not sure I want to have to deal with fighting off the stigma associated with being a “late starter.” Even in a much more accepting genre of dance like modern, I’m not sure I want to have to fight every day to say “I can do this.” There’s a lot of job instability in dance, and I don’t want to have to worry about auditioning for new companies. Not to mention having to worry about your body and constantly be under scrutiny for your weight and appearance.

3.) Other Interests
While I passionately love dance, I still have other interests. And unfortunately, they conflict. I like international affairs, I want to travel. I want to learn foreign languages. Having a career in dance would conflict with several of these interests. Dance is a sacrifice, but I’m not sure if it’s a sacrifice I’m really willing to make.

4.) Other Limiting Factors
As much as I hate to admit this, I will probably never be as flexible as a professional dancer. I know anything is possible, but I’m just not a naturally flexible person. And in my mind at least, no one wants to hire an inflexible dancer. And don’t forget my obvious lack of technical practice. Again, anything’s possible. I could get my technique strong enough in 4 years, but you’re talking a lot of man hours. Again, it goes back to that sacrifice thing I’m not sure I really want to make. I want to have a life in college, not spend every waking moment in the dance studio trying to improve.

So I know that list was depressing, but it’s just me trying to sift through the facts and realities of being a professional dancer. But don’t think this is me swearing off dancing. Oh no!! Never!! I will continue to dance, as passionately and enthusiastically as I always have. But I’ll do it instead without the pressure of being a professional.

Yes I’ll attend dance performances, and let the professionals do the work for me. I’ll take dance classes in as many genres as I want. Maybe my opinion will change in the future, and I’ll decide all those cons I just listed aren’t reason enough not to go for it. But right now, that’s where I am.

I love dance.
I always will.
It’s just now I’ve decided to enjoy it as an amateur.

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