I am going to take this opportunity to mirror something my sister Sarah is doing, which I’m sure she will hate. But what are sisters for if you can’t drive them nuts even in college?

To give some context my sister has a platform where she occasionally posts some longer form musings on various topics, which you can check out here. She (it seems) is going to do a 12-days-to-Christmas series of blog posts. I’ll see if I can keep up the energy to do the same, most likely blatantly stealing whatever topic she chooses each day and adapting it to my own purposes.

Her first post was on choosing her college major- which luckily is a ripe topic for me since I have the benefit of two extra years of consideration. I picked DeSales for two reasons. Reason (a) was because it has a good TV/Film program (my original major) and one of my most influential high school teachers was an alumnus of that program. Reason (b) was… it was the only acceptance letter I got out of a grand total of two applications.

I didn’t take the college search very seriously. I was quite frankly a terrible high school student, and I didn’t want to go to college. Finally, only because my mother forced me to, I sent out two applications. Out of the two applications; I received one acceptance letter, and that was to DeSales. So in the fall, I found myself moving into a dorm on the DeSales campus.

I entered as a TV/Film major since at the time I thought I wanted to work in the Film Industry. It funnily enough only took me one film appreciation class and one conflict with a professor to disabuse me of that notion. But I would be guilty of a serious omission if I limited the reason I left TV/Film to solely my negative experience in the major. I at the same time had a very positive experience with a professor in another department- Dr. Essig who was the head of the Political Science program.

I had enrolled in Dr. Essig’s American Federal Government class my first semester to fulfill a general education requirement, and I was hooked from the first lecture. I decided to make the switch my second semester freshman year- from TV/Film to Political Science, and I’ve never looked back.

Fast forward to three years and several alterations of my course of study later, and I’ll be graduating next month with a Bachelor’s of Art in Political Science, concentrating on National Security, minoring in Business. Most of my research in my undergrad has focused on various economic issues and the wider issue of state security. My pet topics that I really love writing on are Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property and Nuclear Weapons. If you can find a connection between those two topics, please let me know because as of yet I haven’t been able to figure it out.

The conflagration of events that got me to this place still leaves me in awe at times. I went to a school… because I didn’t have a better option. At the school, I registered for a class with a particular professor, who happened to inspire me and was also the head of the political science program. Through all that I kindled an interest in myself that I didn’t really know I had. I’ve polished writing skills I didn’t know I possessed, and I became a voracious non-fiction reader. DeSales, and the professors and coursework I’ve had here gave me a thirst for knowledge and an ambition that would be unimaginable to my high school self.

Even crazier to me as a graduating senior is that my kid sister and myself ended up in almost the exact same major. She’s National Security Studies, and I’m on the National Security Track of the Political Science Program. I’ll probably never not tease her about the fact that my degree is in one of the true academic disciplines (politics has been studied about as long as there has been formal education). Whereas her degree is just one of those generic studies degrees. I’m sure she’ll fire right back with some conversational Russian I can’t understand (she’ll be in an intensive Russian program this summer which is awesome). But I digress, we’ve been driving each other up the wall since she was born, no reason for that to not continue. I never imagined that the bleeding heart liberal younger sister would end up in the same course of studies as me, the heartless conservative older brother. I am however beyond excited at the prospect. I can’t wait to watch her develop academically (& I have no doubt exceed me) and to hopefully be able to give her some guidance along the way.

Can’t wait to have some spirited debates about the geostrategic implications of Russian aggression and a Trump presidency around the dinner table this winter sis. See you all tomorrow (maybe? If Sarah continues her series).

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