A real live Ivy League-endorsed major sounded so glamorous.

I woke up with a rare jolt of energy a few Wednesday mornings ago and blow-dried my hair for the first time in a while. As I shut the door of my off-campus abode and trod briskly down Locust, I felt decidedly serious. After all, I was on my way, en route, to declaring my major. I glided through the entrance to the McNeil building in what I thought was an appropriately serious outfit; I don't wear glasses but they would certainly have complemented the ensemble. Eventually, I found the way to my chosen department's office and proudly announced my 11 a.m. meeting with the program director.

I endured the short wait, passing the time gladly flipping through course booklets and brochures for graduate programs I didn't even know existed. Now I'm not one to be titillated by Ph.D. degrees and the like, but I nonetheless anticipated that rush of higher education adrenaline akin to stepping into the Fisher Fine Arts Library for the first time. Finally, they were ready for me. I made use of my finest firm handshake and sauntered gracefully into the back office. I filled out a one page form with my contact information and wrote down the courses I had taken in the discipline. My name was added to the departmental listserv, and two days later, when I searched my name on Penn Directories, my major was listed. And that was about it.

I'm not exactly sure what more I really expected — in fact, I quite liked the pragmatic, straightforwardness of it all. The department head answered all my questions and was as helpful as I could have asked. And better yet, I was now allowed to answer that "Whaddya major in at college?" question with some real authority. So as registration for the spring semester rolled around last week, with a major in my back pocket, I felt totally cool and confident. That is, until I realized: I'm not sure what a cross-cultural analysis course is, I have to file a petition to study abroad next year and I haven't the faintest notion of how I might go about fulfilling the physical world sector.

And then it dawned on me… despite my newfound academic legitimacy, I'm still so totally sophomoric.


Comments

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.