A different flourishing of the soul

Faces of the Mount

Student: Ajeé Anderson
Major: English

“I wanted to graduate in 4 years. I’m slightly a stickler for sticking to the plans I set in my head. I hate the what-ifs in any situation. That’s my biggest fear, the what-ifs. My struggle was realizing that life is really, very unpredictable. I’m not a very religious person, but I always believed in the saying: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him you have a plan for your life.”

I started off majoring in Biology and I came to this school to become a veterinarian. The school told me they had pre-veterinary; I got in and accepted it. Unfortunately, they lied and said they didn’t have it. I’m not bitter at all, though, to be honest. It’s part of my story.

I remember sitting in my classes and honestly abhorring the material being taught. It wasn’t the professors – I loved them. They were all good people and you could tell that they were passionate and that they cared for their students. But I dreaded sitting there. I would pray that an alarm would go off so that I wouldn’t have to go to class. It was just me, personally.

During that same time, I had a minor in English, and it was only a minor because I always thought to myself “Okay, Ajee let’s be smart about this career goal.” So, in the beginning, I stayed with Biology thinking that that was what I wanted to pursue.

Looking back, I remember being so sad and depressed that I would call my mom crying because of the stress. I wasn’t happy with any of my Biology classes. And she would always say to me, “If you’re not happy why are you still there?”

There was a lot of inner turmoil because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was a failure. It was hard overcoming the whole concept of “you’re not trying hard enough and that’s why you’re not passing.” I felt unintentionally pressured by the outside people in terms of them constantly telling me to just “stick it through.”

I would study through finals week completely stressed. I would study so hard and still barely pass. I know I gave my all and it still wasn’t enough. So I thought, if I’m giving my all and I’m still not getting the results I deserve, I shouldn’t be here.

I said fuck it, I’m not happy. And I know that I did try my best.

And then I remember sitting down in my English courses and I loved it so much. I was well aware that my college years shouldn’t be as simple, but I also knew that I shouldn’t be walking into every class absolutely hating it or dreading the next one. I should, at least, be excited. I was struggling. I knew Biology wasn’t for me. And I had to come to terms with it. I mean, during that time, I thought maybe if my classes were more veterinary-based, I would have stayed. But even then, I think I would have pulled the plug.

So, I switched to English and this is who I am today. And I love it. Biology and English – they’re two different spectrums. I’ll be honest, it was difficult to change, but I mainly remember it being a happy one. It really was.

What made English the better choice for me was that it was a different flourishing of the soul. When you read a new book for the first time and it’s absolutely amazing, it’s this feeling of elation and happiness that only a few people can understand.

Even now, when I’m sitting in my English classes, I feel like I’m in the right place, at the right time. It all makes sense for me at that moment. The world just feels right.”


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