By Julien-Pierre Campbell
It’s fall 2017, and I’m sitting in my freshman honors class. “And what’s your major?” my professor asks.
“I’m a political science major with a double minor in legal studies and theatre arts — and I’m on the pre-law track.” There’s a beat.
“Wow,” the professor chuckles. “That’s…a lot.”
I glow. See, I’m the kind of overachiever who needs to, as I say, “major in everything.” I’m only 17 and academia is my thing. I know I’m smart. My teenage bravado is real.
Winter term comes and I pile on even more credits, a political internship, an ex officio board position, a cabaret I perform in, my job, my social life. My political science classes are starting to weigh on me. Theory and economics wander into my dreams. My internship is overtaking my normal homework.
“Can’t wait to see President Jules!” one of my cabaret friends jokes one weekend. I glow. See, I only sleep tl3 hours a night, and my glow might be a little burnished now, but I’m an overachiever! I love politics more than anything! Right?
I ignore the fact that I do much better in my English classes. It requires much less effort on my part, but I WANT to put in effort. English is the one place I feel free. But I’m going to the president one day! Politics is my thing. Right?
The spring term comes. I up my hours at work, keep up with my credits, and only take political science courses. I slowly notice my grades slipping. This is infuriating! I’m an overachiever! I get a tattoo that says “Nonstop” in a vain attempt to grab my passion back. I’ve made so much of myself political at this point that I can’t face how miserable I am. My weekend cabaret becomes the only thing that makes me happy. I drop the internship and board membership — really, I just let them slip away.
On comes the next fall term — I’ve turned 18 by now, still full of teenage bravado, still the overachiever. I did take 16 credits and work twenty-five hours a week all summer, after all!
I take a deep breath one day, staring at my computer screen. I carefully select “ENGLISH” as my major and political science as my minor.
And I glow.