Before coming to Conn, my mind was already set on a major. I had told all of my family and friends that I was going to major in behavioral neuroscience. There was no doubt in my mind that was the degree I wanted to pursue. Of course, I had other interests like acting, photography and writing, but I never considered pursuing any one of them as a major or minor.

Near the end of the fall semester my first year, I decided that neuroscience was not a true passion of mine, and chose to follow the track of psychology. So when course registration time came, I had to make decisions about what classes to take spring semester. After perusing course offerings and descriptions for a few hours, I decided on my four classes, one of which was called Building Culture. Building Culture is a class under the architectural studies and art history departments, and is also a ConnCourse. ConnCourses are classes under our Connections curriculum whose main goal is to enable students to link together different areas of liberal arts learning to improve problem-solving and higher level thinking skills.

To be 100 percent transparent, I had my reservations about the class. Up until that time, I had never taken an architecture or art history course and didn’t think I would find the one I had just signed up for very interesting. I enrolled in the course for two main reasons: my dean was teaching it and I wanted to give the liberal arts concept of “trying something new” a chance. I figured by taking this course I could assure myself of my disdain toward anything associated with this branch of art.

However, about two weeks into the class I realized how much I loved it. The material was not only easy for me to retain. It was intriguing. Learning about various political and social movements and how they influenced what was being built or how centuries of architecture were in some way influenced by ancient Rome was actually enjoyable. Needless to say, I was shocked. I was shocked because I had already concluded that I was going to hate the class before it even started. It turned out to be one of the best classes I’ve ever taken.

After talking to the professor, Emily Morash, a few times about my enjoyment (both from mine and her observations), she brought up the idea of minoring in architectural studies. Just the discussion of declaring a major and minor stressed me out because I had no clue what I even wanted to study. Then she told me that if I loved the class enough to either take it again or take other classes related to it I should consider pursuing it in my studies. That comment stuck with me for months. As I began to solidify what my true passions were and what I wanted to study, it made an impact in my decision-making process.

Since then, I have declared a double major in psychology and theater and a minor in architectural studies, and am very excited about what’s to come with my minor. Had I not taken a chance with Building Culture, I would probably still be figuring out what I wanted to study and eventually would’ve settled with something I really wasn’t passionate about.