Every time I go home to Saratoga, California for break, my family goes out to meet with extended family and family friends. The typical questions flood in: how is school? Great! I love Rice! How are your studies? They’re going well! What are you majoring in? Political Science and Psychology, and I’m minoring in Engineering Design.
Long pause. Oh. Interesting combination! What do you want to be?
It’s taken me awhile to find a response to this interaction that is both authentic and acceptable to the traditionalist Chinese aunties and uncles who grill me every holiday break. But the more time I spent talking to Rice people – peers and mentors alike – about my aspirations, the more I felt comfortable asserting my uncertainty.
When asked the same question now, I usually give an abridged version of the following rant — but since I’m presenting this in writing now I’ll indulge in the luxury of being a little flowery in my language.
Frankly, I’m not entirely sure what career path I want to pursue. I love working with people, and I love working with my hands. I love studying how people think and act, but I also love the intricate rules of math. I love the abstract and the concrete, the ambiguous and the clear-cut, the subjective and objective. But I know that I love them, and I know that I have fun studying them, and I know that at Rice I don’t have to be afraid of uncertainty for now. As long as I keep exploring and collecting new data points, pursuing the things I love to do, and asking for help along the way, the amazing people and resources at Rice will help me end up right where I’m supposed to be.