“Have you chosen a major” I asked my niece. Rachel, her mother, my daughter Trellace, and I were sitting in Starbucks™ having a late night snack. Rachel had graduated from high school a few hours earlier.
“Theater, I think, with a minor in photography.”
I recalled the last five years or more when she and Trellace (her twin cousin) spent hours taking pictures with their new digi-cams. I thought back to her elementary and preschool years when her carefree hours were filled with playing dress-up and gathering audiences for her impromptu shows.
“Perfect!” I told her, “Everyone should major in something they love.” I spent more than a decade in college admissions and career counseling. I can hardly stop myself from offering unsolicited advice.
“The way you find out what that special something is,” I went on, “is to think back to what you did for fun when you were a child. Major in something that parallels that activity. That’s what you’ve done by choosing theater and photography.”
Rachel nodded, understanding. She said she had recently talked to a radio announcer who told of his childhood.
“He used to talk into a cassette recorder, listen to his voice, erase it, and then do it again. He did that over and over again as a kid and now, as an adult, he is in radio.”
“That’s what I’m talking about,” I said, “Like my sister, she’s a teacher, and when she was little, she loved playing school.”
Rachel and her mom nodded as I continued.
“Your Uncle Jay loved his microscope, plants, anything that had to do with science, and today he is a scientist. I loved books and played library when I was a little girl. Today, I write and I’m in a field that requires a lot of reading.”
Laughter spurted from Trellace, who had been silent throughout the conversation.
“What?” I asked, “Did I say something funny? Embarrassing?”
“No, it’s nothing,” she managed, still sputtering from her laughter, “I was just remembering that when I was little, Hollyn* and I always played ‘Queen.’”
*Hollyn lived across the street from us from the time she and Trellace were 4 until they were 9.