Smacked in the middle

The middle is always hard to defined. It’s not quite one half or the other. Kind of like 0, it’s not negative, and even if it is technically positive, you don’t really think of it as a positive number. Or the dividing line, which side are u on if you are on the line? And what happens when that line is perfect line, exactly as defined by geometry, with no breadth whatsoever. Then is it even possible to be on this line with a breadth of zero? If you can’t be on either side, or even on the line, then I guess the best you can do is just to hover somewhere in between. One moment you might be leaning more onto one side than the other, and then it flips the very next moment.

That’s a bit like how I feel in regard to my college career at the moment. Not counting the London experience, I’m more or less hovering between the first and second half of my undergraduate years (let’s not be too technical here). The first two years can be nicely summarized into “getting used to college”. By the end of sophomore year, I was quite comfortable and happy. I had recovered from the shock of first year and retrieved most of my confidence. I felt that I knew what I was doing once more and I was rather sure about what I wanted and where I was going. 

And then junior year rolled along in London and I thought I was going to be happy and everything will go as planned. But of course not. Suddenly the stuff that I wanted turns out to not be so great, and I once again find myself questioning my previous decisions and trying to decide what i really want. So I decided that I want Duke and not LSE. Selecting courses has never been as confusing and difficult as it was this semester. I’ve always been quite sure about what I wanted to take and I was always quick in selecting them, bookbagging, and registering. Maybe I didn’t have enough time, but for some reason I felt rushed. I added, dropped, and switched half a dozen classes, and in the end I was still not quite happy with all of them. 

Somewhere in this chaotic process, I realized the root of all my problems: econ electives. It was easy (relatively speaking) for the first two years because all I had to do was just plow through one econ elective after another. They were all nice sequenced and there was little (or so I thought) choice in the order or timing in which I had to take them. So I took all of them dutifully like every other econ major. But now I have choices. What’s worse than being forced to do things you don’t like is to make choice when you dislike all options, though perhaps with varying degrees. That;s when it hit me, why do I have to take these classes if they are electives? Just to get an econ major? But do I really need it? No. Not really. I can graduate with a philosophy major and an econ minor, and it would make no difference to any graduate school or employer. My parents might care, but only to the extend they think it might affect my post-graduate prospectives. But ultimately, it only matters if it matters to me. 

But I thought I was done with forcing myself to take classes that I have little interest in and only regretting it later on. And I am. I have a little more than a year left of college and I will be done with one major by the end of this semester. With my remaining time here I can either continue with the plan of an econ/philosophy double major and fill up my senior year schedule with econ electives and other classes to fulfill the graduation requirements, or I can keep taking other classes that genuinely interest me and that I won’t have a chance to take again. It’s hard to decide. On one hand, I’ve already come this far and so close to getting that econ major. But on the other hand, this is the last chance I have to fulfill my intellectual curiosity in a liberal arts education. I guess it all depends on what I will find on ACES come March…

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