Picking Anthropology

When I started my first day of university, I knew exactly what my end-goal was: to be a Clinical Psychologist for the criminally insane. Looking back on this idea, I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because I had OCD and was secretly worried that my disorder would turn me criminal; maybe it was because I genuinely wanted to help those with mental disorders; or maybe it was just because I had watched House on Haunted Hill too many times and wanted to cure people with psychoses before they became insane ghosts. Whatever the cause for my planned future, I was intent on it. Until I took my first Anthropology course.

I hadn’t even taken a psychology course to compare the two before I went to my academic advisor and asked to declare a new major. Changing one’s major is annoyingly difficult. Even as a freshman. I envy those who go into college as “undeclared.” I had to switch from a specified Psychology program to and Anthropology program. Luckily for me, that meant fewer math classes! Anthropology has the lovely characteristic of being “qualitative” instead of “quantitative,” which means anthropologists want the story over the statistics. Of course, we’ll take the numbers, but we’d also like a 5,000 page ethnography on everything that gave you those numbers. Okay, maybe not 5,000.

When you study Anthropology, two things are certain: 1) you will love people, but also be a misanthrope, and 2) people will always ask you to explain what Anthropology is. Anthropology does not deal with dinosaurs (bummer!). Basically, Anthropology is the study of people and their cultures. The general term is very vague and can be specified on almost any aspect of human life. A BA in Anthropology can allow you to get into a bunch of different fields. That’s stressful. When you are a biology major, you will probably get a job dealing with biology. When you get a degree in mathematics, you’ll probably do something math related as a career. So, as an anthropology major, you’ll get a job related to people. People are everywhere, doing everything. Too many choices.

That is how I decided to study business anthropology. Studying people in business makes for a more business-savvy person. I’m very pro-anthropology in the business world, and hope to be able to implement it more throughout my career. Starting from the ground level, working all the way up.


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