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Majors and minors, oh my!

By Amy Sachse
On December 6, 2013


I came to Davidson thinking I would be a math major. With roughly 25 majors available, not to mention the countless double major, minor, and concentration combinations, the choice is extremely difficult; however, I was convinced that I should be a math major. I loved math in high school and my teachers tracked me to be a "math kid." The summer before arriving at Davidson, I tackled the infamous "Webtree" and made sure that "Calculus II" held a prominent position at the top of Tree #1. I logged into "bannerweb" to find the classes I had received and walked into the first day of my 11:30 Calculus class a very confident freshman. Let's just say that at the end of the semester, I no longer wanted to be a math major. The class was interesting and challenging, the tests were killer yet fulfilling, but the other three classes I took that semester interested me more: Political Science, French and Psychology. I found myself at a crossroads because I wanted to major in anything and everything except math, the one thing I was confident in upon arriving at Davidson. At that crossroads was where I came to appreciate the beauty of a liberal arts education. 

I learned that Davidson's distribution requirements are a godsend. The second semester of my freshman year I took courses in Writing 101, French, Educational Studies and English, satisfying the Literary Studies, Liberal Studies and Writing requirements. Throughout the semester I yearned for a sign, something in flashing lights to jump out at me and say "Hey, Amy! This is the major for you!" One day I would walk out of my English class thinking that I had to be an English major but the next day I would be completely persuaded by my French professors to pursue a French major. Every day I would have a new life plan and I would call home and tell my mom that today was the day and I had decided! But those decisions never stuck. At the end of the semester, I attended the graduation of my sister Kate, Davidson Class of 2013. I watched she and her friends walk onto the stage and receive their Bachelors of Arts and Sciences. After the ceremony I talked to English, Chemistry, Math, Political Science and "you name it" majors about their decision to declare. I got the same answer from everyone: don't rush, your major will find you. 

This semester, I took the advice of the graduating seniors and tried to calm down. I enrolled in classes that interested me: Introduction to French Literature, Literary Analysis, Educational Psychology and Social Psychology. Currently, as we come to the end of the semester, I am leaning toward an English major and a French or Educational Studies minor, but I am not rushing my decision. I have until the end of this year to declare my major and I plan to take my time. I find myself to be in a very unique position. I have always known (from the time I was seven years old playing make-believe in my basement) that I want to be an elementary school teacher when I grow up. My plans for the future are as resolute as my major decision is irresolute.  

I am not worried. I continue to discuss my potential major, minor, and concentrations on end with my roommate, my parents, my professors, and basically anyone who will listen, except I am now confident that everything will work out. Next semester I will be taking courses in Religion, Art, English and Education to satisfy more distribution requirements and find out what I truly love. I am such a proponent of the liberal arts education because it allows you to truly discover what courses suit you through an exploration process of various subjects. I may have chosen math upon entering Davidson, but math did not choose me. I plan to pour myself into all of my courses this next semester until one major finds me.  


Amy Sachse '16 is undeclared from Mission Hills, KS. Contact her at

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