My Double-Major Dilemma

My second year at Penn has been filled with grandiose plans that will hopefully launch me on the track to my post-graduation goals. The glamour of freshman year is fading, the realities of adult life are setting in, and the majors are being declared. One of them, at least…

I am officially declared as a Biological Basis of Behavior Major. Last semester, I wrote about a course that inspired me to pursue a second major in Modern Middle Eastern Studies. I dreamed of going as in-depth as possible, learning about the history, literature, politics, and cultures of the region. However, throughout the winter break, I took a lot of time to think about whether this was the best decision for my academic life.

My main question was whether I truly wanted a packed, regimented schedule for the next three years. When I sat to plan out my classes assuming I would complete the double-major, I realized that I would have no flexibility in my classes for the rest of college. What if I want to take a class for the sake of taking a random class? Does this mean I will never be able to take classes in Urban Studies, Health and Societies, or Computer Sciences if I want to?

Although I haven’t reached a decision yet, I’m incredibly grateful for the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue these various tracks. If I decide to continue with the major, I will leave Penn with a deep, nuanced understanding of the Middle East. If I don’t, I’ll be able to get a taste of the many exciting areas of study offered in the College of Arts and Sciences. Even though it can sometimes be daunting, the academic opportunities at Penn are truly limitless.

-Nitay C. '18