Earlier this week I fell in love.
Not the mature, adult kind of love that blossoms out of friendship and mutual respect, and is destined to withstand the tests of time, but the juvenile, love at first sight, messy, Romeo-and-Juliet-were-barely-preteens-and-ended-up-dead-from-stupidity, can’t-stop-babbling-to-any-friend-who-will-listen, forget-your-responsibilities-and-reality, this-is-a-really-massive-run-on-sentence kind of love. But, as befitting my status as a self-proclaimed nerd, I didn’t fall head over heels for a person, but rather for a field of study. I walked into Intro to Psychology thinking it would be a fun elective and walked out ready to consider changing my life in order to study Psychology.
Problem is, I’m already involved. I’ve declared my devotion and made a commitment to study Government. I’ve been involved in politics for a long time and although recently I’ve been feeling restless, unsure, and maybe a little bored, some of the best experiences I’ve had have centered around politics, and the people I’ve met in the process have become some of my favorite friends. But because my focus has been focused on this one passion, I’ve passed by other opportunities. And like a possessive jealous fiancée, Government seemed determined to keep me from exploring my interest in, or developing even a casual relationship with Psychology – one of the few classes I will be required to take meets during the same time as Psych 1, a required prerequisite for any other course in the department.
I don’t know if my sudden interest in psychology is nothing but cold feet, or if I’ve stumbled across something I’d like to study for the rest of my life (or at least the rest of my undergrad career), but either way it threw me for a (overindulgent, hyperanalytical) loop. The scary thing about the recognition that I might be really interested in something I’ve never tried before was the realization that every decision I’ve made to do something has been a decision not to do countless other things and well, maybe I’ve been choosing the familiar for far too long.
For a long time I’ve been a homebody, who tends to order my favorite dish at every restaurant every time, because I know it’s wonderful, and taking a risk on something new has always seemed just… unnecessary. But, looking back, the risky decisions I have made, the ones that took me far outside my familiar comfort zone (whether it was my decision to travel during my senior spring, or just to try a spicier curry at my favorite Thai restaurant), have led to really amazing experiences (even if I won’t be having that curry again any time soon…) As I wend my way slowly out of the sheltered world of academia towards “the real world” of adult choices, the stakes will get higher and my decisions to stay at home, to stay in an academic relationship I’m unsure about will have a last effect on the path my life takes, and the opportunities available to me. While I can make very few complaints about my safe and boring decisions thus far, as my life seems to have worked out pretty well, I’m beginning to think it’s time to “sample a few new dishes” so to speak.
And for now, I’m going to hold off on becoming married to any one subject, at least until next semester, when I can finally get to know Psychology a bit better.