By Savannah Curro
Attending an Ivy League university was not the outcome that I envisioned during my four years at Mercer. Nor could I have anticipated the field switch that I made from first year to senior year. Determined to soar through undergraduate toward a master's in organ performance, I contorted myself into practicing my instrument daily for a minimum of three and a half hours. Missing even one practice session made me feel guilty and lazy — and often still does.
As this practice regiment intensified, I became depressed about the lack of academic diversity in my curriculum. I wrongly surmised that adding a few non-music classes would be enough to satisfy my academic curiosity. By the middle of sophomore year, I considered adding a second degree in history. Then, in December of my junior year, I wondered if it might be time to abandon my performance degree for more generalized music study. By senior year, I had applied for and been admitted to the master’s in divinity program at Yale University. Later this May, I will graduate with both a B.A. in History and a B.M. in Organ Performance.
Throughout my time at Mercer, my advisors were divided about the wisdom of my academic choices. Some warned that adding a history degree might suppress my music performance skills. Others asserted that my brain naturally gravitates towards historical study. Some outright told me that I was abandoning the organ by attending seminary.
Experiencing pushback is not easy. Yet, my multi-disciplinary interests won over outside pressures to limit my academic explorations. Ultimately, weaving my own tapestry of degrees, clubs, and hobbies allowed me to find my place at Mercer. It also provided me with the insight necessary to discover the graduate program best tailored to my needs.
New students and those still discerning what they wish to get out of college: allow yourself the freedom to unconventionally blend your interests. It is the most satisfying choice that you can make as an undergraduate. Be the sports marketing major who sings in the Mercer Singers, the trombonist who is on the pre-med track, the dual biology and history major, the doctor with a southern studies degree.
Mercer brands itself as a university where everyone majors in changing the world. Making a difference requires more than mastering your major. Get out there and immerse yourself in as many of your passions as you can.