If you’re anything like me, you’re an undeclared LSA student at the University of Michigan… and you have no idea what you want to do with your life. I feel lost, considering the possibilities for my future are endless. It’s scary to have to surrender my future to one set career path. In the program of Literature, Science, and The Arts, I have the leniency of taking an array of classes across the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, foreign languages, electives, and more. I have so much freedom, that quite frankly, the choices overwhelm me. In turn, this evokes fear within- What major will I enjoy most and find success in? How much does a high paying salary matter to me? Do I want to work in a team structure? Despite the swarm of uneasy emotions, the structure of LSA’s requirements can be helpful in narrowing the pathway to success. On the other hand, UM students might not need the guidance.
Truthfully, I stick with the LSA program because I’m too fearful of commitment. I don’t want to restrict myself from other
possible career choices. That’s why I’m testing out the waters, first. I am fearful of my own future. I fear that I will take an unsuccessful or non-fulfilling career path. I inflict this intensity of fear upon myself- this feeling does not entail other people. This relates to Hobbes’ theory in the Leviathan that people are naturally fearful. However, Hobbes believed that this fear was ignited between people… not within the person himself. Under the sovereignty, Hobbes also claims that people can be free if the subjects are guided under such power, as when he states, “Only when the subject has forsworn his own fear and power to the sovereign to be used as tools is he absolutely free”. On the contrary, I act as my own sovereign as a student. I, as an individual, have the freedom under the structure of LSA’s requirements to choose what to study in LSA. In fact, I am free to switch to the Kinesiology School or drop out of school altogether. I have the upmost freedom to do whatever IS please.
Although the structure of LSA is suitable for me, it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Students, such as the Musical Theater Majors might come to UM with a set path. They might not need that sense of freedom to choose their major- they have no fear of commitment. Luckily, they were able to discover their passions earlier than the realm of undecided students. However, because the musical theater students must take specific courses beginning with freshman year, they have little leeway in receiving a liberal arts education. This can be a potential restriction of possible passions that these committed students have yet to encounter. Just because these students don’t have the same freedom to explore other majors, does that mean that they no longer have fear? They have more of a sense of direction than most, but still, young adults are bound to be skeptical. These students don’t feel so lost and scared, but some may still question where life’s next step will lead them.
On the other hand, I recently met a girl named Sarah in “The Art of Film” class. She was originally an engineering major but dropped this path of study halfway through her freshman year. Instead, she decided to major in communications because she realized that she didn’t want to stop taking writing courses. She really loved writing, though she didn’t realize what she truly loved until she didn’t have it anymore. In fact, she claims that she only went into engineering because she was advanced by two years in her high school math courses. Some people think that this is the reason that LSA is so great- it can show you what you’re missing out on before you commit to one major. Nevertheless, some people don’t quite agree with the liberality of the LSA requirements. Today, she plans to double major in film production and communications. As a junior in college, she is now figuring out her pathway. She even found that her class credits overlap, so she’ll still be able to graduate within four years.
Even though LSA students have all of this freedom, it typically has a way of working itself out in the end. Discovery just might come later for some than others. So, is this freedom good to have? Should we restrict ourselves by choosing a major too early? Is it good to feel lost in a major? It might be good to start from scratch. Some people claim that the liberality of the LSA structure doesn’t work, yet some people say it does. Many argue that it works because we have the freedom to test an array of diverse classes. The more we explore, the more we can eliminate options and gain insight to new possibilities. Nonetheless, others say it doesn’t work because the students are overwhelmed with the endless possibilities to fulfill their requirements. Students may spend so much time over their first two years of college fulfilling these requirements that they still don’t know what they want to major in by the end of sophomore year. By the time they fulfill their requirements, they are set behind and might have to graduate late. Granted, some could be as lucky as Sarah by having an overlap of class credits. Nevertheless, the freedom of LSA continues to help some, while discouraging others. Truly, there’s no correct way to maneuver through a college course guide. Perhaps, it would nice to look into a crystal ball and see what we all become of ourselves. It would relieve some of that fear, yeah? Still, we would then be restricting ourselves of our own freedom to major in whatever subject we want. Maybe, it’s good to feel lost after all…