[B]efore I first arrived on campus, I knew that I wanted to be a History major. History is the one subject which I have been deeply passionate about for a very long time. As a child, reading was my favorite activity, making History especially appealing. I loved reading fanciful stories, but I loved the real ones even more. From Ancient Egypt to the Civil Rights movement, my young mind absorbed every fact and narrative like a sponge. On family vacations to Virginia and Hawaii, I urged my parents to take me to Jamestown and Pearl Harbor. This passion grew as I progressed through school, and before I entered college, I knew that it was the major for me. My confidence was further enhanced by my interactions with the professors and advisors within my college’s History department. I have always felt at home within the department, and I respect and appreciate its stoking of intellectual curiosity.
In looking at my pre-college life, you would think that I have not faced any real obstacles: I attended one of the best high schools in my area, earned good grades without too much effort, and was admitted to a prestigious university. But since I have been in college, psychologically the road has not been as easy. While my love for History has not waned, there are times when it feels like I may have chosen the “wrong” major. At my university, many people are set on working in finance or some other field where they will surely earn large paychecks, and they choose their major based on which one will allow them to do so, even If the major they choose is not what they have a real passion for. It sometimes results in me feeling like I may have taken a wrong turn by shunning such a path completely in choosing a major which I study mostly because I love it rather than because of the amount of money I can make with my diploma in the future. In a place where it is already easy to slip into self-doubt (“Do I really deserve to be here? Was I the admissions mistake?), more than once I have felt it necessary to re-convince myself that I made the right choice. But even after the worst bouts of second-guessing, I always realize that I have chosen what is right for me and that I can succeed in life without sacrificing my happiness to an investment bank.
Graduating with this degree will mean the world to me, and my diploma would be a tangible indication of years of hard work and diligence as well as a major step toward my goal of attending graduate school, continuing to study History, and ultimately become a professor. I want to earn this degree not only for myself, but also to ensure that my mother taking an additional job while my father works out of state and both of my parents’ financial sacrifices have not been in vain.
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