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Spring Term Milestone, Pt. 1

In which Greta declares a major and also a minor!

In which Greta declares a major and also a minor!

Spring at Carleton is an exciting time. For sixth-term sophomores, it means declaring a major!

Andriana, the other sophomore blogger who wrote the post linked above, declared English and I declared Latin American Studies (which I wrote about in this post). It’s been so fun scrolling through our campus directory and seeing which majors all my classmates chose. The Carletonian student newspaper even published an article analyzing the most popular majors.

Spoiler alert: Latin American studies is not one of them. It’s just me and one other classmate! But one of the wonderful things about Carleton is that it’s totally okay to declare a unique major. There’s one Theater Arts major, two French & Francophone Studies majors (including one of my best friends!), and lots of other great majors with fewer than ten students. There’s only 500 students in each Carleton class, anyway, so a 10-person major is still about 2% of the class!

Of course, it’s also great to declare a popular major. A lot of my friends have chosen to study Biology, which is the second-biggest major in our year. From what they’ve told me, the professors in that department are awesome, which was a big part of the decision.

For me, choosing a major also came down to the question: what field do I want to dive deep into?

Majoring in something means taking lots of upper-level classes in the field and eventually doing a senior research project called comps. (Stick around for part two of this post to learn more about comps projects!)

However, declaring does not mean that you have to stop taking classes outside of your major. In fact, most majors only fill up about 1/3 of the classes you take at Carleton.

With the other 2/3 of classes, students complete the graduation requirements, and then have space just to explore! Some people declare a second major; if you want to study a second field but not quite as intensely as a major, you can also declare a minor.

Minor declarations are open starting the second week of your sixth term (usually sophomore spring) all the way until your tenth term (usually senior fall). Right before writing this, I submitted the form to declare a minor in Creative Writing!

This is super exciting for me because I love love love writing, and also taking English classes, which is the exact combination of the minor. But also, I think I’d burn out on them if that was all I was doing and learning… so for the past two terms, I’ve taken two Latin American Studies classes (in Spanish or Anthropology or History) and one creative writing class. A perfect balance! Lots of minors are that way: something fun and exciting to complement your main course of study.

Just for fun, here’s a poem that I wrote last term, basically about how much I love poetry. If you do too, or are curious about the Creative Writing minor, or have questions about anything I wrote about today, feel free to email me!


Ars Poetica

I want to bend my body into an act of love

for this Earth, contort her curves into trees

expel any anxiety from her mind that helps

no living being, least of all herself.


I want to craft every cry like a firecracker—

for the fourth of July was never our beginning

just another day they drafted in our becoming

a country too powerful to trust its own

people—prepared to protect only predators.


I want to offer up my words, let them be found

when all has been lost

to the winds which weather away the West

while they construct bridges and build

barriers around riverbanks, too straight

for any salmon to swim.


All I want from you is a promise; tell me

this new World I imagine is more than a beautiful delusion

borne of too much hope and despair.


Greta is a sophomore and a proud Vermonter who loves the Minnesota prairie almost as much as the Green Mountains. She enjoys writing constantly, playing piano, and spending time outdoors. And eating lots of chocolate. She wants to learn everything, but she’s a major in Latin American Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. Meet the other bloggers!