Friday, March 21, 2014

My Time as a History Major at Bonaventure by Christina Zoppi

Photo courtesy of Chelsea O'Connor-Rosiek
I love history! I think I will always be fascinated by learning about the past. My decision to declare history as my major was strongly influenced by the movie, “National Treasure.” All Nicolas Cage jokes aside, I thought (and still think) it was so cool that his character was able to recount historical facts off the top of his head. In fact, even today when people ask me what I plan on doing with my history degree I jokingly, and somewhat seriously, say that I am going to find the National Treasure. The truth is that no matter how cool it would be to find a lost map on the back of the Declaration of Independence, I do not plan to pursue a career in history.

During my junior year, as I seriously considered a career in Speech and Language Pathology, I began to tell people that I would not be using my history degree. I know plenty of people who majored in history as an undergraduate and are not presently working in the historical field: my dad works in hospitality, his college roommate is a podiatrist, some guy I sat next to on a plane once helps develop companies. I used to think none of these people were really using their degrees in history. I was sorely mistaken. While these careers may not directly reflect characteristics of history, they do incorporate the skills of a historian.

There is a very slight connection between a speech therapist and a historian; however, I am determined to incorporate the skills I have learned as a history student at St. Bonaventure University into my future career endeavors no matter what they may be. After taking many classes with Dr. Horowitz, I have learned to read large amounts of material while still being able to understand and discuss what I have read. Dr. Payne has taught me to be flexible and to have an open mind when dealing with new material. He has also taught me that there may actually be a zombie apocalypse and to be prepared for it. All of my history professors have taught me to be innovative in ways that are outside of the box. 

The skills that I have learned from studying history are irrefutable. Even if my career may not involve history in a direct way, I will be able to use the insights I have gained through being a history major in many aspects of my life. History will always be my first love, and I do not regret choosing to major in it. Who knows, maybe someday I will find the National Treasure, and I will be sure to thank all of my history professors in my recognition speech.

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