What’s your major?

Dana Alsaialy
Dana Alsaialy
12 December 2022

Hello! My name is Dana Alsaialy, & I’m from Saudi Arabia, Czechia & Italy. As I dive into the second year of my Bachelor’s degree at Charles University, I am constantly reminded that my major choice is heavily tied to my personal identity. Although some details I will be sharing are hard to admit (especially as an introductory first blog!), my internal urge to normalize the difficult transition from school to university surpasses the chance that you will find my confessions as challenging as I do. Instead, I hope this short article can be informative, relatable, & motivational.

During my youth, I had many dreams of various categories. What “I want to be when I grow up” did not only change but accumulated. I wanted to find the cure to cancer, then be a marathon runner in the Olympics representing Saudi Arabia while finding time to cultivate a world-renowned fashion brand, & squeeze in becoming an attorney somewhere in there. To summarize, I had a lot of interests & little time. Instead of trying to find consistency within these interests & putting them on a hierarchy of exclusion, I accepted my “inconsistency” as a predisposition to becoming a “jack of all trades, master of none.” Naturally, when the time to go to university started looming, this jack of all trades was lost. I was experiencing the paradox of choice; too many options overwhelmed me & I felt unmotivated.


Uncertainty prevailed in my mind while choosing where to study, what to study, & even when to study! But nothing was as tricky as the daunting question, “what major should I commit to?” Because that’s what this world makes it feel like — a lifelong commitment. Choosing your major is “one of the most important decisions in your life,” & college is the supposed “best years of your life.” I picked it by reminding myself what I do not like: Anything math-centric like Statistics, Engineering (& Business…), and anything too philosophical like, well, Philosophy — you get the gist. Although Biology was my favourite subject in school & I did consider Medical School. There was a voice telling me not to rush things & explore life a little. Not that you cannot do that by studying Medicine, but for me, another program, which offered me more time to travel & pursue entrepreneurship, think critically about the world in abstract & concrete senses, & produce work instead of simply consuming it, was more up my alley. So, I ended up with… (drumroll)… Social Science! A bit anti-climactic? I am forever grateful for my choice; I managed to empower my struggle of liking everything, random sets of interests, or uncertainty as a passion for the curiosity within my character.

Because this is a common question, I define the major as interdisciplinary, including fields of sociology, anthropology, economics, & humanities, among others. It is a general degree that teaches practical skills — best of all, it allows for specialization in any direction. It is dedicated to analysis & sound research methods. This means I can take courses in culture, healthcare, technology, finance, & so much more!


Ultimately, I chose a major intertwined with my identity as curious about everything. Throughout my degree, I noticed I am a sort of advocate for my experiences as a biracial Muslim woman, as a person who believes equally in the power of science as in art to transform society for the better, & as a voice for youth all around the world. Most of what we study enriches me & my individual experience is valuable. My advice is to trust the process while setting a plan for yourself. I knew that I would much rather spend three years learning about the world & gaining practical skills, all while having the time to pursue things outside my studies in Medical School. By the time I graduate, I will use this same formula to keep living my best life — one that enriches me as a person & is true to my identity.