Majors and Major Decisions

My Major is Not My Career

Greg Beale, '69
My goal was law.  I was a Political Science major at Stanford, while playing football at the same time.  That was not an easy thing to do then, fifty years ago, and is not an easy thing to do now.  I know that the demands of football at Stanford now  are more than what we had to do then, with year round training, summer workouts, etc., etc.  We had the same demands, but weren’t kept on campus during the summer.  I don’t know how they do it.
And to carry a 3.5 GPA with all that was not easy either.  

Embrace the Uncertainty, Follow your Curiosity

Linda Nguyen, '16
There was a time when some students were briefly able to glimpse their admission documents. As some of my fellow classmates, I was curious. The most remarkable thing was that even though I wrote on my application that I was pre-med and had worked on Asian-Pacific Islander Health advocacy, one of the admission officers wrote that she enjoyed my personal statement so much that she wished I would major in English! I walked out of there, shaking my head in disbelief.

My Major is Not My Career

Dontae Rayford, '07
15 years ago, I walked into PoliSci 101 as a bright-eyed freshman.  I'd major in Political Science and then take a year off to work in politics while studying for the LSAT. Then I'd go to some awesome law school before beginning a high-powered career as a litigator before transitioning into civil rights work after making my mark. 

Planning, But Not Paining

Courtney Gao, '20
“Courtney Gao, freshman. Undeclared!” our announcer boomed into the microphone with a
twinkle in his eye. His words needed no Thai translation. The audience chuckled and I joined the
palms of my hands in a slight wai , fixing my lips to match grin for grin. In that moment, I knew
what I was: a Stanford student who had no idea what she was doing with her life.
Allow me to supplement this introduction. My name is Courtney Gao. I’m a rising sophomore

Why I Chose Theater Instead of Science

Jane Casamajor

I love science.  I love learning about how the world works and using answers to find new questions.  I spent all of high school and college focused on learning about science.  Then, in college, I learned that real science, experimental science from the ground up, is slow and often you don’t get those answers until decades into the process.  So, I took my honors degree in Anthropology and Zoology and my membership in Sigma Xi, the scientific research honors society, and I turned to my other love, theater.

Why I'm An Urban Studies Major

Sean Volavong, '19

10:43 p.m.

Twenty minutes until I land at the San Francisco International Airport.

14,500 feet in the air and I have the coveted window seat.

Peering through the window, a glimmer of gold and pearl lights begin to glow brighter and brighter. As we descend, the lights begin to intertwine down freeways and busy intersections as the networks of cities and lives inside Bay Area reveal themselves.

Finding My Way

mechanical engineering tools
Isaiah Drummond, '20

Despite popular opinion, I didn’t enter Stanford with a clear idea of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Instead, I found myself unsure of how to proceed, and I felt pulled in a million different directions. Everyone told me to venture into STEM, but was Engineering for me? I never took a Philosophy course, but did that mean that the Humanities were off-limits? Questions like these buzzed around my head nonstop as Move-in Day drew near. No one seemed to have the answers, and I felt even more isolated as the first day of college approached. Finally, the big day arrived.

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