Why I Want to Change my Major

Since the end of my Junior year of high school, I’ve known that I wanted to be an engineer. I liked the idea of being outside of the ordinary (a female, Mennonite engineer isn’t too common), and I was good at math, so why not? I decided I would follow in my brothers’ footsteps, go to a community college, then Oregon State University, and get a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I would maybe minor in Humanitarian Engineering too, because somewhere deep inside of me there’s a need to serve other people.

So that’s what I told everybody I would do, and that’s what I began to work towards. And all along the way I secretly prized those raised eyebrows that I got from older Mennonite ministers, and felt like I was maybe a little bit better than those Mennonite girls who just went straight from high school into teaching little Mennonite kids at a little Mennonite school in a little Mennonite Community. They were just following the easy path. Right?

However, the more I studied engineering, the more I realized that I didn’t find it that enjoyable. I mean, it was okay, but I didn’t feel any passion for it. It was just something I was doing because it was there. I wasn’t getting the thrill out of engineering in the same way I got a thrill out of the idea of engineering.

So now my opinions on Mennonite girls who just teach are coming back to bite me in the butt, because I’m realizing that what I really want to do is teach. More specifically, teach high school math and science. I feel as though my calling in life is to serve, and I feel passionate about the education of the next generation, specifically the next generation of Mennonites.

Funnily enough, my brother, Ben, had almost the opposite experience. He started his engineering education without a lot of passion for it, and originally had the intent of teaching. However the further he went into engineering, the more he enjoyed it, and the more of a passion he had for it..

I realized that I was only pursuing engineering because I wanted to prove a point. I wanted to prove that Mennonite girls can be engineers if they want to, and that we aren’t held back from that by our denomination or our gender. I realized, I don’t want to do something that’s not right for me, just to prove a point. I still think Mennonite girls are fully capable of being engineers, but it wan’t the path for me.

So starting Fall of 2017, I will no longer be pursuing the goal of being an engineer. Instead, I’ll be working towards becoming a math and/or science teacher, and leave the engineering to those more passionate about it than myself.

Anyway, there’s a little update on what’s been swimming around in my skull.

I hope you all have an excellent Wednesday.



12 thoughts on “Why I Want to Change my Major

  1. I actually started college wanting to teach science, but heard that there was a glut on the market for science teachers. I decided to become a Clinical Lab Scientist (Medical Technologist), but I did later in my career teach science in an ACE school! I found out later the glut was not in private schools! Somehow the Lord knows what he is doing in ways he has us make changes (or allows them!). The bottom line is he uses us if we allow him, and likely there are careers, where we will feel more fulfilled, or passionate about.

  2. Blessings to you! You will be able to inspire many young people in fields that they might avoid if the teacher is not passionate and excited about the topic! It takes a wise person to be willing to change their mind.

  3. Thank you for the article.. do Mennonite young people need to use the word “Butt” so freely???

    1. Well, before I posted it I asked my mom if it was okay, and she assured me that “butt” was certainly milder than some other words I could have used. 😀

  4. I have a Y chromosome, am Menno (sort of, ish), and would have cheered to see a female Menno engineer. But a female Menno passionate about teaching STEM is something I can emphatically affirm as well. 🙂

  5. “It was just something I was doing because it was there.” Is that necessarily wrong? Appreciated the article since I’ve completed one year towards a physics degree but am considering becoming more involved in a farm operation. On one hand I want to break the mold of “normal Mennonite,” but on the other hand I do feel as though I’m studying physics just because it’s there. (A shot of humility would probably do me good) I’ve also wondered how much one should rely on a job to find fulfillment in life.

  6. Oregon State University has a great Masters program in math and science education. It is a 10 month program that is fairly intensive, but it is also not too long.

  7. Your honesty is great! I really understand wanting to be something outside the box, and how hard it would be to abandon that- but you are wise to see that the course you’re on is not the best for you, admit that to yourself, and change your direction. All the best!

  8. Congratulations. I applaud you, the world desperately needs more quality STEM teachers.
    I would encourage you to consider finishing out your engineering degree though. An engineering degree, especially ME or ChE, is an extremely flexible tool to have in your back pocket over the long haul and can launch you toward any number of careers including teaching.
    I have a good friend who got an ME and from there taught with Teach for America to get his master’s in education. Now he can teach or do other things as the opportunity presents.

  9. Sounds familiar.

    In high school, I had a conversation/Bible study with an older woman who stated all women should be nurses or teachers. I went home fuming…but that conversation actually led me to realize that my personality leans towards those nurturing fields. I’m now a teacher.

    The Mennonite Game Blog Directory (https://themennonitegame.com) is a simple list of blogs to help bloggers and readers connect. Would you be interested in adding your blog to the list?

    If you’re interested, you can fill out this form (http://goo.gl/forms/UnTbNnVaKaUKd4VN2) which asks for an affirmation of the ’63 Mennonite Confession of Faith, a square photo, and a blog description (50 words or less).

    You might also be interested in the facebook page where anyone can share their blog posts (www.facebook.com/groups/mennogame).

    Thanks for considering it! Tabitha

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