After taking Introduction to Sociology during the spring of my freshman year, I knew that Sociology was the perfect major for me. The relatively small sample of material that was introduced to me as a novice sociologist left me excited about the prospect of going into greater depth in the specialized upper level classes. One of my favorite aspects of Sociology is that I've begun to apply concepts learned in class to situations that I experience on a daily basis. Sociology has challenged me to think critically in a way that no other course of study ever has and in doing so has allowed me to grow intellectually and personally.
I didn't even know what sociology was when I came to Wesleyan. I enrolled in a sociology class as a gen ed requirement, and I fell in love with the field and decided that it was what I wanted to do. Since I've been at school, I have begun to understand more about the way people think about others, and sociology is starting to teach me a lot about what I need to do as a student on this campus. I am starting to understand how where these people come from shapes who they are, and why they act how they do around people like them and different from them. I am very grateful that, if nothing else, I have finally found something that I love and enjoy learning about. I have always been big on diversity, but I never thought that there was actually a class, let alone an entire field, dedicated to the way people act and studying the ways that different social groups influence the way people act. I have finally found something that I really like doing, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Sociology has helped me to realize that what happens in life does not occur by accident. We are all products of a world which has been created through individual interactions with each other but also by much larger social forces. With this being said, it is critical for each individual to understand how power relations affect our society such as laws, policies etc. keeping groups of people in power and with tremendous amounts of money while other groups are kept from upward mobility and forced to struggle with limited resources.
Sociology has offered me the ability to critically view the world I live in so that, hopefully, I will be able to make it a better place to live by becoming an active citizen who addresses social problems and acts to change them.
I wasn't originally a sociology major when I came to Wesleyan, but it was through the sociology class that I took as an elective that I really found my passion. Changing my major to sociology was one of the best decision I have made, I have found a place I feel at home. To me its not just a educational track, its a way of life. I have come to notice that I think and see things differently, that I approach things differently. Sociology has taught me so much more than the required course material, it has taught me about my self; the person I am and the person I strive to be.
I fell in love with anthropology when I was twelve years old and visited the British Museum with my dad. While I was staring at the Rosetta Stone, he commented that I should find a way to work in museums and the idea stuck. Studying anthropology gave me the opportunity to pursue that goal as well as broaden my understanding of how different people interact. In the last four years, anthropology has taught me—to borrow Dr. Springwood’s favorite phrase—“to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.” I have learned to appreciate the massive diversity in the world and to look closer at my own culture and how I fit within it. I put my anthropology education to practical use when I studied abroad in Auckland, New Zealand, and further tested my knowledge during internships in the collections departments of both The McLean County Museum of History and The Field Museum of Natural History. Anthropology has broadened my mind and my perspectives and given me skills that I will utilize for the rest of my life.
Before I started college, a family friend told me Anthropology would be a great major since I love learning about different cultures. I had never taken an Anthropology class before attending Illinois Wesleyan but after taking one class at IWU, I was hooked! Anthropology has provided me with a rewarding and unique perspective both as a scholar and a person. As a scholar, I have learned to discuss and represent other cultures in a respectful manner so that the voices of others may be heard. Professionally, I hope to use this knowledge to represent other peoples and cultures in a museum setting. Now I try to understand the cultural significance of traditions and customs I might previously have dismissed as strange or not worth learning about. This has enabled me to communicate and connect with people from other backgrounds and countries on a deeper and more meaningful level. When you think about it, the skill set and broader perspective gained from anthropology courses is applicable to so many more majors and career paths than one would expect. I highly recommend taking a course or two in Anthropology even if you are not a major or minor.
I first considered anthropology because I thought it would be a good complement to my religion major. I became truly interested after taking my first class. I am always amazed at how easily anthropology can be integrated with other fields of study, and I often find it applicable to numerous situations - even in everyday life. I feel that as an anthropology major, I have become more culturally conscious and socially aware. Surprisingly to some, anthropology encompasses far more than archaeology! There are numerous subfields, including biological/physical, linguistic and cultural, all of which can complement other disciplines. For example, I plan to integrate my anthropology background into my graduate study in library and information science. The applications of anthropology are endless!