What to Expect When You’re Expecting (to declare your major)

What to Expect When Youre Expecting (to declare your major)

Megumi Rierson, staff writer


Illustration by Catalina Burch.

First, post your “I declared” picture to no less than two, but no more than four, forms of social media to ensure maximum likes. Part of the joy of declaring your major is letting all of your friends and followers succumb to a deep sense of academic inferiority and anxiety about their futures by reminding them that they are simply not as on top of their shit as you, a champion, are.

Second, make sure to stress the fact that your parents disapprove of your major, even if they don’t. Part of the liberal arts experience is a false sense of liberation from the capitalist shackles of your privileged upbringing. What better way to stick it to the (wo)man paying your tuition than with an art history/philosophy double major? It is essential that you try to dispel any and all stereotypes you may carry as a coddled millennial by telling all of your friends that your parents don’t totally approve of the life path you’ve chosen, but, like, it’s what you’re really passionate about, you know?

Third, never, under any circumstances, research entry-level careers and internships that would accidentally boost your resumé and give you professional experience. This would lead you down a dangerous path of actually becoming a valuable member of society, and that is certainly not why your parents are paying 60,000 dollars every year. Instead, stick to being a camp counselor for all four summers as a college student. There are plenty of ways to spin your summer of paid cliff jumping and face painting into resumé-ready tidbits that will surely dazzle future employers and grad school admissions officers.

Fourth in the true Whitman tradition of getting black-out drunk with every obscure group you identify with, make sure to begin planning your major’s legendary rager as early as possible. Exclusivity is the name of the game here, friends. Make the party entirely word-of-mouth and hold it at an ironically-named off-campus house that’s unnecessarily difficult to find, like the Birkenstoke or any of the 85 frisbee houses.

Fifth, never forget – or let any of your friends forget – that your major is the best, the most fulfilling, the most representative of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Now that you have that “I declared” sticker firmly affixed to your water bottle, there is nothing stopping you from making snide remarks about other majors, spouting one-liners from the readings you don’t do to impress your peers and maybe even designing some tasteful tanks for your major.