How to Choose a College Major
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How to Choose a College Major

Scott MacPherson, 2012

            First, go to high school. Your teachers will say it’s important to be in class every day; it’s not. Spend your freshman year figuring out how to avoid the seniors and still make it to your classes on time. Your Earth Science teacher will creep you out, but laugh at his jokes anyway. You’ll sit alone at lunch, but it’s alright; at least you don’t have to make awkward conversation.

            Your sophomore year will be a little different. Your guidance counselor will arrange all sorts of trips and seminars to help you decide what your future career will be. He will inform you that you have three choices: college, career, or military. Offer a fourth that involves your parents’ basement, but he won’t appreciate it. Briefly consider entering the military. Decide against it after watching Full Metal Jacket.

            You should now be in your junior year, and you need to make some big decisions. Tell everyone you’re going to go into engineering because that’s easier to explain than your other ideas. Dream of being a computer programmer for NASA, but only in the darkness of your closed-up room. Such ideas are too dangerous to be released in the wild. Make sure your mom knows you plan to be an engineer because she will spread the word quickly, which lets you simply nod when people as you about your future instead of giving them your rehearsed lines.

            Take the ACT and score in the top three percent. Don’t tell anyone. They will only think you’re bragging, and you hate to be judged. Score a hundred on your English regents, and explain that you test well. Never let anyone know that you actually are intelligent. Tell the dumb ones that anyone can get a grade like that.

            Start your senior year and apply to one college. The community college has to let you in, and you assure yourself it’s cheaper and smarter. Tell people you’re going there to save money. They will insist it’s a smart idea and you’re getting the same classes as anywhere else. Hear those same people tell others they’re smarter to go away for college and be on their own. Recognize the rehearsed lines because you have a script of your own.