During my first semester at Quinnipiac in the fall of 2012, I decided to enroll myself in an entry-level history course.
Signing up for “The U.S. Since Reconstruction” may have seemed to make little sense at the time, given that I already planned to pursue a career in journalism. History had nothing to do with my print journalism major, but I figured I would give the class a shot.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my time at Quinnipiac.
Part of me reasoned that history wouldn’t be so bland at a college level, while another part had just gotten fed up with the frustration that came with learning how to sign up for classes via MyQ.
It just so happened that the history lecture I had signed up for, in part out of losing my patience, was my favorite class. My professor was extremely compelling, making a topic that I was already drawn toward even more interesting.
He would pace around the class as he talked, raising his voice on certain points he sought to emphasize. He would explain things in layman’s terms, making sure that he was clearly being understood. He made 6:30 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. every Thursday go by far too fast.
I took another history course during my freshman year, and enjoyed that as well. Last semester, I was fortunate enough to land a spot in another one of his courses. It was my third history class in three semesters. Just like that, I had found my minor.
Nowadays I get surprising looks when I tell people that I am a history minor. To other students, to friends and even to family, the idea of minoring in history when I plan to make a career in sports journalism seems pointless.
I’m here to tell you that they’re wrong and that it’s OK to minor in something that has nothing to do with your major.
Most people view a minor as an opportunity to acquire another skill pertinent to your desired career. While it can surely be used as so, there are other purposes a minor can serve.
For myself, minoring in something totally unconnected to my major served as a captivating learning experience. I looked forward to going to class when I had a history course.
It also made me different, unusual in a good way. In an interview for an internship, I was recently asked why I had chosen such a minor, given my professional goals. My response sufficed the interviewer. More importantly, though, it made me stand out.
I’m not the only one of my kind, truth be told. Emily Hauser is a senior media studies major, but is minoring in anthropology. She finds it to be a wonderful combination in many ways.
Hauser interned for the National Archives in Washington D.C. this past summer, where most of the other students she was interning with studied history, she said.
“They hired me because I was diverse,” Hauser said. “I had other interests than history that applied to the job, which really benefited me.”
So regardless of what you plan on doing after your time in college, know that your minor doesn’t need to correspond with your major. Minoring in something else can benefit you in many ways.
And if you so choose to do so, you’re not the only one.