What to say to people when they think your major was your backup

Benny Grush/File

“Oh, I’m so sorry – did you not get into your first choice major?” says almost everyone when you tell them your major and they assume it was your backup option. “No,” we want to scream, this was our first choice major. Is it bad to be interested in the inner workings of the brain? Can I not be interested in supply and demand graphs without first wanting to one day become an investment banker? We at the Clog understand your qualms – it’s annoying to be on the other end of these questions. And as a result, we’ve curated some clever responses for you to keep up your sleeve just in case anyone serves you one of these backhanded comments.

Economics instead of Haas School of Business

Sorry we like learning about our economy and how it works, sorry we idolize the Romers. Economics is arguably more difficult than the undergraduate Haas program, so just tell the haters exactly that. Why would you choose a harder major to be your backup unless you were genuinely interested in the material?

Cognitive science instead of computer science

There’s only one lower division course that overlaps with the CS major prerequisites (two, if you take CS 70 instead of Math 55). Just tell people that you’re sorry for bursting their bubble, but you plan on becoming a neuroscientist one day and truly just want to understand how our human brain works. Instead of the saying “is it like rocket science or something,” start saying “is it like cognitive science or something?”

Public health instead of biology

Public health lets you go work for the government, help a nonprofit organization or fight for human rights. Plus, the major has a GPA cap, and the average GPA for accepted students is a 3.4. Not too shabby. So next time someone asks why you dropped out of the bio major, just tell them to ask you the same question when you’re running the healthcare system and telling them how to protect themselves against disease.

Political economy instead of economics

You decided to be worldly and chose political economy because of its language requirements in addition to its history and economics classes. Maybe you just didn’t feel like going with the norm and studying what a majority of us Bears study. Just tell people you plan to work for the United Nations someday and political economy is the major that’ll get you there.

We feel a little frustrated that these majors don’t earn respect they deserve! The truth is, however, a lot of these majors are some of the most difficult at UC Berkeley. We at the Clog love and respect you for following your heart and dreams!

Contact Avanti Mehrotra at [email protected].