Campus / News / April 27, 2011

Students grapple with courses of study

It’s that time of the year, when both sophomores and first years with sophomore standing are expected to declare their majors and minors; it is mandatory for them to move on to the next class.

For some students, this is the most difficult decision they have had to make. For others, it is just a simple process. Some students arrived at Knox College knowing exactly what their majors were, while some had no clue and were somewhat confused.

In sophomore Tarere Eyimina’s case, she had originally planned to be a Computer Science major, but when she started taking the classes in the department, she realized her strengths belonged elsewhere. She was simultaneously taking International Relations classes and she felt that suited her better.

“I wanted to do something I liked and enjoyed and not something that I would struggle with,” Eyimina said, adding that she started taking Economics classes as well and liked the discussions on the “effect of the economic policies on government.

“Both Economics and International Relations are interrelated,” she said, and that is why she chose them as her majors. Although Computer Science was her original dream, Eyimina says that she is content.

“At this point I’m happy with my decision,” Eyimina said. “It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.”

Carmen Caraballo, a freshman and Secondary Education major, described the declaration process as “easy.” Caraballo declared her major a week ago and explained that her previous volunteer services and her current advisor, Associate Professor of Educational Studies Jason Helfer, made her decision as simple as it was.

She described the process as “not a big deal.”

“I asked to fill out the paperwork and that was it,” she said.

Caraballo also added that rather than waiting for the last minute, students should do it and get it out of the way.

She talked about the difference between how she felt before she declared her major and afterwards.

“It gives me more confidence because now I know what classes and path I’m taking,” she said.

Caraballo is happy with her recent classes and hopes to someday influence people through education.

Other students believe that declaring majors is a very confusing time. They may be interested in many areas of study and still haven’t figured out one or two to choose from, or still have no idea what they like.

Sophomore and pre-med student Dieko Mudasiru has had a tough time deciding between Biochemistry and Biology and unfortunately she doesn’t have much time.

“I’m confused, I don’t know which to do and I can’t possibly double major,” she said.

Luckily for Mudasiru, she hasn’t received any harassment from the Office of the Registrar yet (which often occurs at this time) and plans to declare by next week. She mentioned that she would declare her major in Biochemistry and see how it goes. She could easily change her mind to Biology later if she wanted. Mudasiru explained that although she hasn’t declared her major, she successfully fulfilled most of the credits for either majors and will still study abroad next semester.

Declaring a major sometimes makes things easier for students, especially when they need to get into particular classes, but for Mudasiru, it also means things get harder.

“It means I’ll be done taking classes I’m not interested in and I’ll be left with my major requirements that determine my life and bring me closer to my future,” she said.

Ema Bassey

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