When I was little, I used to say I wanted to be a doctor. That changed to a vet, lawyer, and
horseback rider, not necessarily in that order. Around my junior year of high school, I started to
think that I might want to major in theatre in college. I kept that sentiment through senior year,
graduation, and halfway through freshman year at Penn. But, as I sat in my Intro to Linguistics
course—which I found by literally opening up the course code page on PenninTouch and
clicking on “Linguistics”—, pondering the subject, I realized something: I really liked it. Like,
really really liked it. Maybe I could major in it?
That’s why I came into Penn undeclared. I thought: “Yeah, I’d like to study theatre. But I know
myself. What if I change my mind?” That was a very large possibility, as I had changed my mind
so many times before. While I had an idea of what I’d want to study, I knew that I’d want to
leave my options. And I’m so glad that I did.
It’s okay to be undecided. Not knowing exactly what you want to study doesn’t mean you’re lost; it means you’re keeping your options open and not closing any doors yet. I was still changing my mind, up until the end of my first semester of sophomore year. That’s part of why I chose Penn—it had a good theatre department, and it also has so many other great resources and departments in case I changed my mind.
I’m still studying theatre, but as a minor. I get the opportunity to take advantage of two great
departments at Penn—not to mention the other courses, sectors, and foundational approaches I get to experience.
If you’re in the same boat I was, don’t worry too much. The best thing that could’ve happened to me was coming in undecided.
-Duval C, C'20