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CAMPBELL: Our majors do not define our personalities

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Carlie_new_WEBLast week, one of my classes was host to a guest speaker. When he asked us to introduce ourselves to him (without specifications as to what kind of information he wanted to know about us), I was the first person to whom he looked. Terrified and structureless, I heard myself recite, “HiI’mCarlieI’maseniorjournalismmajorandhistoryminor.” As he continued around the table, others followed my example and dutifully gave him their names, years and majors.

Listening to my classmates recite their own credentials, I was disappointed in myself. This man still knew almost nothing about me except my name and the subject areas on which the bulk of my class credits focused. I could have started our conversation by telling him my name and the fact that I once played the candlestick Lumiere in a stage performance of “Beauty and the Beast.”

The reality is that, in our college experience, we are so often reduced to simply how many years we have spent at Marquette and our focus of study. But since we don’t spend all, or probably even the majority, of our time in classrooms, why are we reduced to those simple facts? When a guest speaker in our class says they want to “know a little bit about” us, why do we jump to the conclusion that what they want to know is our year and major, and not that we once caught a rainbow trout, named it Goldie and kept it as a pet for two days?

It starts even before our first day of class freshman year. I don’t think anybody could count the times someone lists their major and hometown to someone else during Orientation Week. People often joke that we should just tattoo it on our foreheads for the first few weeks, so that annoying part of the conversation was out of the way before the conversation even began. Wouldn’t it be more interesting if people went around introducing themselves with facts like that they have ridden the actual Hogwarts Express train instead?

The point I am trying to make is that each one of us is so much more interesting than what we were interested enough in choosing as a major. We often let ourselves be categorized by what we study, but I know for a fact that not every journalism major is the same as me.

Caroline Campbell is a senior in the College of Communication with a major in journalism and a minor in history. Email her caroline.campbell@marquette.edu.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “CAMPBELL: Our majors do not define our personalities”

  1. LJ on February 15th, 2013 4:08 pm

    Yet your “about me” at the end of the article is exactly what you criticize.

  2. LJ on February 15th, 2013 4:08 pm

    Yet your “about me” at the end of the article is exactly what you criticize.

  3. LJ on February 15th, 2013 4:08 pm

    Yet your “about me” at the end of the article is exactly what you criticize.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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