My journey to finding the right major

By Ahfaaz Merchant | Multimedia Journalist

“I want to be an astronaut!” “I want to be a doctor!” “I want to be an actor!”

These are all statements I grew up hearing among my peers when heading off to college. Hearing these statements made me think long and hard of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. As an 18-year-old about to start his life, what I wanted to do worried me tremendously.

As any teenage boy, my dream was not to be a doctor, accountant or lawyer, but rather, I wanted to be the next Stephen Curry. This dream was short-lived as I was brought back to reality when I couldn’t even make the high school team, let alone beat my peers in a simple game of pick up basketball at our local gym. I started to reflect on things that were of interest to me and only two things came to mind: healthcare and sports.

Healthcare has been something that is very close to my heart. When I was in the seventh grade, my mom was required to undergo surgery to remove her thyroid glands. This was a very risky procedure for my mom because her condition had developed to a point where medication was no longer an option. This event in my life made me realize how doctors are real-life superheroes and save the day one patient at a time. Reflecting back on this event in my life made me realize that maybe I should pursue medicine and become the LeBron James of medicine.

After taking my first neuroscience course my freshman year at the University of Texas at Dallas, I started questioning whether the school was right for me or if the major I was pursuing was something feasible. I took that summer once again to reflect on what I could to be a functional piece of society. I ultimately decided that UTD was not the place for me.

I decided to transfer to Baylor University where I struggled once again to find a major that suited my dreams and aspirations. I went back to the drawing board and wrote two words. “Helping People!” These are the two words I wrote to help me come to a decision of where I wanted to go. Growing up, I had always been taught to help people in any capacity I could and ease their worries by just a little bit.

Taking this into consideration, I finally decided that becoming a doctor was not the only way I could blaze a trail to helping people. I thought of different avenues that I could take that would lead to the same path. I finally landed on an individual whose job it is to help people overcome struggles that are related to medicine. I wanted to become a malpractice lawyer.

As I am going through my senior year, I finally realized one thing. It is completely OK to not know what you want to do or who you want to be. The main thing is that you try different things and enjoy the four or more years you have at your university. Take advantage of every opportunity presented toward your way. You never know what may come from that experience.