Entering my first year of college, I was dead set on being a political science and music double major. I figured putting my two favorite things in high school together would ultimately be the best idea.  When I received my schedule for my first semester, however, I was disappointed to find that I did not get placed in any political science or music courses. I was assigned to take an English course, Calculus course, Research course, and Latin course. I began to panic and called the admissions department to see what I could do. They assured me I would have a chance during Orientation to switch out any courses I did not want with an open course, and I was determined.

Flash forward and I am attending a First Generation Pre-Orientation at the colleges. Little did I know that this orientation would be so pivotal for me. Not only did I learn a lot about the campus and meet awesome people, but a conversation with a faculty member changed everything for me. Toward the end of the orientation, we were able to eat dinner with faculty who were also First Generation college students. They offered great advice and great support. I specifically recall having a conversation with a professor from the Geoscience department. I was telling her about my dreams of law school and my personal goals. Afterwards she looked at me and said, “Well have you considered philosophy?”. I was taken back. Me!? PHILOSOPHY!? No way! The more she explained why philosophy would be a good fit the more intrigued I became. In high school I always thought of philosophy as something sophisticated scholars with years of wisdom talked about over coffee. I never really considered it for me.

So, when that opportunity came around for me to switch out classes and I met with my advisor, I also mentioned to him how I was thinking about Law school. He looked at me and said, “Well have you considered taking a philosophy course?”. Again, I could not believe what I was hearing. My advisor, who has his PhD in organic chemistry, explained how an introduction to philosophy course was his absolute favorite class his first semester of college. So, I decided to try it. To my surprise, I ended up absolutely loving it. My professor even emailed me after the course was finished encouraging me to take more classes because he believed I had a natural talent for it. Now I plan to make it one of my majors along with Economics. Both of which I would have never guessed I would show interest in. Now as I am taking classes in both departments as a sophomore, I find that I love to open those books. It is work I never become tired of and I could not be happier. The more I think about it, I wonder how drastically different my academics would be. Philosophy (along with Economics) is the textbook I love to reach for. It is the class I love to attend. I never get bored of the material.

It’s funny how conversations and certain events can change the course of action in life. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to talk with that professor at the First Generation Pre-Orientation. This is just one of the numerous ways the First Generation Initiative has helped me, especially as a first year college student. The biggest thing I was able to take away from this experience is to never be afraid to try new things. Although I was weary about taking a philosophy course at first, it ended up being the best decision I could have made as a first year college student. The biggest take away I have from this experience is to dare to try new things. As someone who does not take change well, I have found that when I inch out of my comfort zone, even if it’s just a little bit, great things are bound to happen.