Hello prospective students, confused current students, and lost surfers of the web. Welcome to Wise Fools, where I address the ins and outs of being a sophomore at Brown University. My name is Justin Ferenzi, and I’m here to help shine some light on the intricacies of a student’s second year.
Like all other things in life, our plans can change. We come in freshman year, and whether or not you started out undecided, eventually you settle on an intended concentration. Whether you’re a biochemical-engineering pre-med or triple concentrating in all things literature, everyone finds their niche.
But sometimes the soil in which we land is not where we plant our roots.
I went through this exact phenomenon no more than a week ago: I decided to discontinue following the pre-medical track and focus more on my concentration. The choice was not easy, but I decided that taking full advantage of Brown’s Open Curriculum would be far more worthwhile than taking classes I wasn’t interested in to enter a career I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to pursue.
Many of my friends and classmates have been making similar jumps—I’ve seen people go from biology to chemistry, and others from public health to modern culture and media. After taking courses in what they thought was their dream major, they realized that there was something else that suited them better.
It can be difficult. I personally spent the better part of a semester wrestling my own conflict, and other people have been going back and forth for much longer. It helps to talk to professors, friends, parents, and people you trust. At the end of the day, however, you have to make the decision that makes you happiest.
This is an especially pertinent situation for sophomores, as your fourth semester is when Brown requires that you declare your concentration. That’s not to say that you can’t change later down the line, but it does tend to be easiest before you become an upperclassman.
In all, it’s important to make the most of your education, and to make sure that you’re content with the path you’re following. It is scary and daunting, but it will wind up being far more rewarding when you realize that you’re doing what you love.
When Justin Ferenzi isn’t blogging, he’s obsessively refreshing his email account for blogging-related correspondence. For any and all questions about life at Brown, don’t hesitate to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org