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If I Had It to Do Over Again: Branching Out as an Undergrad

January 25, 2008 By: Category: Alumni advice

I had a great time in college and I don’t have too many regrets. But if I could go back in time and do a few things differently with my undergraduate degree, there’s one that stands out in my mind: I’d diversify.

I was a classic liberal arts major-I put off my science and math requirements until the last possible second, so I didn’t take a geology course until I was a senior. If I’d known how cool geology was, I probably would have majored in it. But I let preconceptions about what I thought I was going to like (and what I thought I was good at) get in the way.

Specialization is what graduate school is all about, and focus is important when you’re working on a graduate degree. But your undergraduate education is all about well-roundedness.

Go ahead and sign up for a few courses that seem outside your comfort zone. Study the history of a country you know nothing about, or take an introductory course in a completely new field. Take anthropology if you’re a math major, or physics if you’re majoring in marketing. Your undergraduate career is the perfect time for a few wild hairs and interesting tangents.

And you never know. You just might be launching a promising career in physics marketing, or the mathematics of anthropology.