Life (Or Something)

Breaking Up with My French Major

Last week was a struggle, but I feel like I ended up doing what’s best for me.

Monday: I decided taking twenty credit hours isn’t good for my mental health and went to my advisor to discuss dropping the two French classes I was taking. (I could’ve just dropped one, but dropping one would’ve meant that I wasn’t going to get the French major anyway, so I didn’t see the point.)  The story could’ve ended there, but I fell asleep at 7pm that night and woke up at 11:30pm, and I couldn’t fall asleep again.

Tuesday: Still awake, at around 1:30am, I wondered: what other study abroad programs are there? So I looked. And found four programs I thought I would enjoy: English in Cork, Ireland; English in Brighton, England; English in Palmerston North, New Zealand; or web design and technical writing in Wellington, New Zealand. I went to my advisor that morning to talk over my options.

Wednesday: I went to my advisor to let my advisor know I’d narrowed it down to the two programs in New Zealand. We looked at classes and got excited. I was going to New Zealand! I mean, it made sense, I guess. I’d been looking at grad school in NZ and really wanted to visit, but I decided that if I wanted to live and succeed in America, I should probably go to grad school here, so I can make contacts.

Since I still hadn’t technically dropped my French classes, I went to one of my French professors (the one who encouraged me to pursue French in the first place) and told him that I had to drop the French major. A lot of it had to do with a new medication I’d started earlier in the month, which had made me drowsy. I’d then fallen behind on my schoolwork and classes. I was afraid that catching up would take away from my senior project and other classes I needed to graduate, and my advisor encouraged me to decrease my workload.

My professor signed the form but instantly regretted it and begged me to speak with my other French professor about how much work I needed to catch up on in her class. He didn’t want me to miss out on the chance to get the French major because he knew something was there. I promised I would.

When I spoke to her, she assured me that I wasn’t far behind at all. “You could probably catch up in about half an hour,” she said.

I emailed my advisor that one of my French professors had almost cried when I told him I would have to drop the major and added, “And I guess I’m still a French major.”

Thursday: Two of my favorite professors ambushed me with an intervention. You can’t do it allMcKenzie, they said. Talk about disappointing someone–I’ll be disappointed if you don’t go to New Zealand. One of them sat with me, and we mapped out my options. I decided I’d drop the classes the next day, so I would have a little time to think about it, to make sure that I was doing the right thing.

Friday: I apologized to my advisor and asked him to come with me, so I could break up with my French major. We had to wait for a little while, but once my professor was back in her office, I got her signature and hugged her. She told me to come back and visit her.

I took the form to the registrar, and it was over. I went home and stared at the classes that I had the option to take in NZ. Digital technical writing! Creative nonfiction!

In a word, I’m excited for New Zealand.


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