A popular question I have been getting from many 4/c lately has been “What major do I pick?” It’s about that time of the year when 4/c choose the major they would like to pursue for their remaining time at the Academy. Cadets are told that certain majors can lead to certain officer career paths, and extrapolating that far ahead into our career, especially as a 4/c, can be pretty intimidating. However, I always end up giving the same advice, regardless of the career path a 4/c may be contemplating. It’s quite simple: do what you love, and don’t be afraid to experiment!
I was originally a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major. And then I switched to Marine and Environmental Sciences. But I finally settled on Government. It sounds a little crazy, and maybe a bit scatterbrained, but I wanted to make sure that whatever I was planning on studying for the next three years would make my time at the Academy a little more bearable. After testing out most of the majors offered at the Academy, I am happy with the choice I’ve made. I find the world, people’s interactions, and different cultures fascinating; not to mention I love reading and writing. Majoring in Government, with an International Affairs focus, allows me to study those things while also giving me some free space to pursue classes from other majors. I intend on taking some MES courses as a 1/c and 2/c to cover all of my passions and interests.
So basically what I’m suggesting to the 4/c is to not get caught up in the pressures here to study certain majors. Many (perhaps most) things cadets do are predetermined and prescribed. What we study and the classes we take are one of the things that we actually have influence over (after 4/c year, of course). Figure out what you like to do first, and then select a major. Don’t sit there and ponder life, trying to predict your future. Just because you may want to be an aviator now doesn’t mean you “should” study mechanical engineering to better your chances – you may not even want to fly in three years, anyways! But what is for certain is what you will enjoy in the present moment. So make a choice in the best interest of your happiness! If you do what you love in life, life will love you back.
More about Allie.