Liberal Arts

I initially decided on a liberal arts education, as I had no idea of what I wanted to major in and didn’t want to carelessly commit to a department. With the distribution requirements at Middlebury, I trusted that one of the 8 regions would tempt me and quickly make the decision for me. My freshman year, I took courses in 6 out of the 8 departments and unfortunately, had no revelations and ended the year feeling equally confused as I had at its onset.  However, the confusion was more fulfilling, as it was comprised of a love for three regions, coupled with indecision on where my passion was strongest. I was torn between French, Spanish and Psychology.  After continuing French into my sophomore year, I decided that I was smitten by it and declared the major. However, human nature had me quickly reassessing my seemingly rash decision and feeling as though I had betrayed my first true love of Spanish. After persuading some professors, I managed to receive approval for the last ever, joint Spanish-French major. Satisfied, I entered my fourth semester with a course load free of the English language and loaded with Garcia-Marquez and Alexandre Dumas and had a thrilling semester, practically hidden in my two preferred romance languages. The year after, I decided to stay at Middebury for the fall and study abroad in Argentina in the spring. However, this decision rendered the possibility of completing my joint major impossible. While this was disappointing, I didn’t wish to spend a year away and was happy with committing to the Spanish language. The semester before going abroad, my psychology course load outnumbered my Spanish classes 3:1 as I wanted to complete the minor.  Going abroad directly after such a rich immersion in psychology courses prompted me to look into the Psychology department at my school abroad. Amazingly, the university was known for its program and had extensive courses. I was intrigued by the idea of learning psychology in Latin America, with an emphasis on psychoanalysis and Freud, and again, maintained the 3:1 ratio in Argentina. Soon after attending my classes, I realized that psychology was what most excited me and that as much as I adored Spanish and French, it was the speaking that intrigued me and less the literature. Readings in psychology never felt like homework but rather like chosen outside reading. I was excited to attend class and quickly became a psychology enthusiast, eagerly getting my hands on fascinating journals or texts. I spent many of the first few afternoons frantically making calls to the department chair to see if switching to Psychology was a possibility. With extensive analyzing and planning, I was given permission to switch and happily entered into the department as a senior. Although it took me longer than most to decide on my major, I couldn’t be more sure of my decision and have thoroughly enjoyed every course, knowing that it is certainly what most enlivens me.

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