December 9, 2022 | CULTURE | By Alexandra Akinchina | Illustration by Rowan Kempen
Welcome back to Colorado College Alumni Advice! In this edition, I interviewed three more alumni about their experience choosing a major at CC.
Megan Clancy ’07 majored in creative writing at CC, but that major was not something she had in mind at first. In fact, she was set on a political science major. “I was so excited about the double-block class I got to take to start freshman year because it was a Poli Sci course in the topic I had my heart set on focusing on… It turned out I absolutely hated it,” said Clancy.
Clancy soon discovered CC’s creating writing program. She noted that she “was always the happiest and most alive when writing,” and “just hadn’t known before going to college that you could actually get a degree in it.” She found that her classes in her major were some of the best courses and they encouraged her to explore the world around her and helped mold her into the writer she is today.
In retrospect, she says that she would have added a minor in either feminist and gender studies or psychology because of her fascination in the subjects and the fact that they would have helped her writing.
Her advice to current CC students? “Take some time to test out different departments and then pick the fields that you love,” she said. “In today’s world, there is so much room to create a job that fits you and your interests, that you will definitely find or invent a career that fits you and your degree very well.”
Currently, she is an author and a book coach.
Elliott Williams ’21, a political science major with a focus in political philosophy, also lent his experience in terms of choosing a major at CC.
“My first class at CC was called ‘Fundamental Debates on the Common Good’ and it turned my world upside down,” said Williams. “I loved questioning justice, the common good, morality, free will, responsibility and more.”
He used his time in college to “focus on answering important questions for [himself] that I knew I wouldn’t have the time to think about as intentionally in any other chapter of my life. I’m so glad I did it.”
Currently, he works as a fellow at El Pomar Foundation. He plans on continuing his work in the mission-driven, social-impact space.
Jennifer Lam ’22 majored in neuroscience and minored in Mandarin Chinese. When she was almost done with her major in neuroscience, she had a major epiphany.
“I thought I wanted to go to med school, but at some point, I realized that that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I did a lot of the classes for it so I just finished it.” She notes that neuroscience is a hard major. “I remember taking organic chemistry and I was just like eating, living, breathing, at the QRC and I was like, ‘what am I doing?’”
So, it was time to pivot. She ended up talking to someone who did healthcare consulting and thought it was cool because “you can make an impact in the healthcare industry on a wider scale.”
At some point, she decided to apply to a summer program that taught sophomore students about the investment industry. Lam notes that she thought the program was “an opportunity to learn about something not in the healthcare field.” The program exposed her to the investment industry and the careers there, and she started applying to positions outside of her major.
She recalled a class that put things into perspective for her at the time, Psychology of Emotions, and this helped her realize “right now, you may not know what you are doing, but your emotions are guiding you to where you want to be. And so for me, that kind of gave me reassurance because I didn’t know where I was going to go.”
Her advice for CC students? Be honest with yourself because only you will know what you want. “Don’t think of your major as this end-all-be-all kind of deal, and also, just lean into what feels good and what makes you really passionate.”
Currently, she works at Deloitte.
Talking to CC alumni, it was clear that uncertainty seems to be a part of every decision one makes. The path ahead is never crystal clear, but if we take time to be honest with ourselves, lean into what we truly want, and face our authentic selves, that path might just make itself a little bit more clear.