Changing majors is a series in which people discuss the conflicts they faced when switching majors. Read previous profiles in this series here.
Ashley Chung Ah Ko
Conflict: MCC in Steinhardt to History in CAS; Identity Crisis
Last year, College of Arts and Science senior Ashley Chung changed her major from Media, Culture and Communication in Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development to History in CAS. Chung initially studied MCC because she had always been involved in journalism in high school, but later realized that the major wasn’t a good fit for her.
“MCC especially caters to a very specific persona, and I didn’t feel like I was one of those people,” Chung said. “It’s very career-oriented and people there do a lot of internships. I just felt like I didn’t really identify with doing that.”
After realizing that, Chung started experimenting with different classes to figure out what her genuine interest was. After taking history classes in CAS, she found that it was very different from the way history was taught high school and played to her reading and writing strengths.
Though it was easy for Chung to transfer her credits from Steinhardt to CAS, she faced a lot of pressure from this reformulation of her future and identity.
“It’s kind of like going through an identity crisis, because I always thought I was a communication major,” Chung said. “But now I have to think about what I am going to do with a history major, and what kind of career path I am going to take.”
Now, Chung has decided to go to law school after graduation and she is in her last semester. Chung recalled a statistic she heard in freshman year that students usually transferred an average of three times. She never thought she would do that. But now, she encourages students not to be afraid of changing majors.
“At first I was very afraid of change and dealing with the consequences of change,” Chung said. “But taking the time to experiment, to dip my toes in other courses, really helped me. I couldn’t be happier with it.”
Email Lingyi Hou at [email protected].