The Echo Chamber: Big Changes, Literally

By Lauren McCabe
Staff Writer

As a kid, I wanted to be the dream daughter, granddaughter and friend. I always strived for excellence in and outside the classroom.

Imagine the excitement and pride that my parents at when at the age of four, I already knew what I wanted to be: an O.B.G.Y.N. doctor. My cousin, who I looked up to, was one of the best O.B.G.Y.N.s in the state with a big house, two kids and a pool.

I saw this woman as a goddess and knew I had to be next, and I wanted to help others just like she did.

But now that I’m older, school is harder. I wasn’t a mathematician or science geek but I did the best that I could. I soon realized that math and science weren’t my subjects, and I struggled.

It seemed that the only thing I was really good at were English and writing classes. Thinking back, I remember that I even “published” (as in the teacher laminated it) my first short story, and even started a podcast out of the school’s computer lab for fun. What kind of science lover did that for “fun”?

No matter the enjoyment I got out of reading or writing, I always was able to push math and science in the forefront of my mind and my career goals.

After high school, I decided that maybe being an O.B.G.Y.N. wasn’t for me; as I finally accepted my fear of blood.

I took myself on another medical career path in which I could still be of service to society: Speech Pathology. Now, I could still pursue my dream of working at a hospital and it involved knowing the English language.

During my sophomore year here at UCA, I declared myself a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, with a minor in English and was so excited for what my future could hold.

However, the sciences classes I took for the CSD major became harder. I no longer understood what I was learning or even what I was doing. The final for my Phonetics class was the last straw. Even after days of studying, practicing, reviewing, and studying some more, I had failed the final.

You’re probably questioning whether I cried or not. I can assure you, I did. I cried for about three days straight after my results, realizing that it would take another repeat of Phonetics to not only bring up my GPA, but to also count my completion credit for the major.

I knew I didn’t have the time or money to forfeit to do so. I felt defeated and it takes a lot for me to admit defeat. After mopping up my tears and weighing my options, I decided that I simply wasn’t science-degree worthy. I wanted to officially recognize the thing I love. I have to write. I have to pursue my skills in English.

So here I am today. Writing to you all about the life changes I am currently going through.

Over the summer, I went to my adviser and claimed myself an official English major, with a minor in journalism and history. I sat down my family and told them my plans, knowing that I would no longer be thought of as the dream daughter saving lives like in Grey’s Anatomy.

Despite my fear of ridicule, they accepted my decision fully and now refer to me as the daughter who would someday write for the New York Times or work on the Good Morning America news staff.

So many people will spend a lifetime looking for what career will make them the most satisfied, whether it’s through the thought of money or making a difference.

From this whole experience, my advice would be to follow your heart rather than your mind. Find where your passion and skills lie, and go for it. For so long, I ignored the signs of career happiness and excitement, and instead did what I thought was right rather than felt.

Now, I see myself thriving and once again enjoying class. I’m writing more creative stories or pieces of poetry than I ever had in my life. I no longer fear going to a lecture in anticipation of not understanding material and failing.

Making a major change, literally, is something I’m so glad I did. Perhaps you would too.

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