If someone had come up to me at the beginning of my senior year of high school and told me that I would be majoring in Film and Creative Writing in college, I would have called them crazy — but that’s exactly what happened.

Throughout high school, I was on track to major in something business-related — I took all of the business electives, was an executive member for my school’s chapter of DECA and I was business student of the year my senior year. That was the expected route — a route that was heavily influenced by my community.

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The culture surrounding my suburban community northeast of Chicago was relatively white-collar — the adults were all doctors, lawyers and businessmen, and I was expected to follow that path.

So when I became fascinated with screenwriting in my Literature & Film class, I did not know how to feel. It was liberating to be doing something off-the-beaten-path from what was expected of me, but I was scared of how people would react. My parents were supportive but they were worried about me making money after college.

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The compromise I made was that I would try and double major in business and film so I could pursue both paths — I would learn more about film and if it didn’t work out, I could always fall back on my business degree.

When I got to UW I was doing just that — but I was miserable trying to balance two completely unrelated majors. I loved every class I took for the film major but was bored out of my mind in all of the others. So I dropped the business degree altogether.

That was the best decision of my life.

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After a tumultuous first year — partially due to COVID — I loaded up the first semester of my Sophomore year with as many Film and English classes as I could take and my perspective on school completely changed. I realized I could actually enjoy classes on top of learning from them and my perspective on the arts completely changed.

All forms of art — paintings, films, sculptures — have so much more behind them than meets the eye. My classes at UW have taught me to venture into these abstract details and appreciate the artists’ intentions.

So take those classes, branch out and try new things — that’s what college is for. The amount of classes UW has to offer is astonishing and taking just one class outside of your major can benefit you immensely.

Check out all the courses UW has to offer here, you won’t regret it.