Oberlin Blogs

On Declaring an Unexpected Major

May 3, 2024

Ozzie Frazier '27

For those of you who follow my blog closely (let's be real, no one is following that closely), you may have noticed that I recently updated my blogger bio to include... drumroll please... my majors!

If you had asked me a year ago what I was planning to major in, I probably would've ignored you and changed the subject entirely to avoid discussing it. I've always liked to dabble in a variety of subjects, and the idea of picking just one of my interests to study forever seemed nearly impossible. Because of that, I had always imagined I would wait until the last possible moment to declare. (If you're new here, declaring at "the last possible moment" at Oberlin means the end of your sophomore year, which is still a whole 25 credits away for me.)

However, after several major fairs and a class called Swallowing the Red Pill, I decided earlier this year that I wanted to be a sociology major—which I probably still will be, if I'm honest. Given that my first soc class was with a visiting professor who couldn't be my advisor, I planned to wait to declare the major until I had taken a few more classes. Despite my interests in So Many Topics, I knew that having only one major would allow me to have several minors or concentrations, which would provide some much-needed flexibility in my life. Or so I thought.

A few weeks later, when I received an email from my first-year seminar professor saying, "Don't wait, come eat pizza and sign up now for the dance major!" I felt I had no choice but to show up, if only for the free food. Less than 24 hours later, I was leaving Warner Center a declared dance major. Walking proof that anything can happen at Oberlin College! During the prospective majors meeting, my advisor had pointed out that I could always drop the major or switch to a minor instead if I changed my mind. I figured she had a good point. It's *really* easy to add or drop a major here. Besides, declaring the major early on might even give me priority access to dance classes that require instructor consent.

Leaving Warner that day, I didn't feel super confident in whether or not I would actually keep the major, but as I fell asleep that night I realized that it actually makes a lot of sense for me. I really enjoyed my first-year seminar in the dance department, and looking back on the blogs I've written I realized that the very first one I wrote was a metaphor about dancing. I took a few contemporary dance classes in high school, and while I've never considered myself "a dancer," I have always loved to move. I've been a circus artist since I was five, and I was even in The Nutcracker once! I'm taking a Contact Improv class in the Experimental College this semester, and over the course of this year I have found that the dance department really feels like home for me. 

It's possible that I'll change my major three more times, and I almost definitely will declare a second one (looking at you sociology), but for right now, I am proud to be an accidental dance major. Being undecided in your field can be kind of scary and overwhelming, but I am a firm believer that as long as you go with the flow things will work out in the end. Here's to the unexpected!

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