I do not regret majoring in philosophy.
In fact, I couldn’t be more proud that I have. I know philosophy majors are the butt of jokes when it comes to the chances of humanities majors finding employment, but it is ignorant to dismiss how useful these thinkers are in our society.
It was a fluke (or so it seems) when I ended up taking my first philosophy course at Dalhousie University (before I transferred to McGill). In fact, I didn’t even know such course existed. Throughout high school, English had been one of my more challenging subjects and I performed better in math and science.
I was enrolled in a generic science program when I started out in my first year, in which I had to take writing elective. The first year English classes were full and so I took philosophy by default.
This is when the transformation began.
I find that having a math background very useful in philosophy since a lot of analytical skills is needed.
However, philosophy also gave me space to think creatively when coming up with arguments and answers.
I was always intrigued when it came to big questions about life: What is our purpose? What makes us different from other beings? What do we know about God? Etc.
It was very exciting to be able to examine these subjects with greater depth and to make coherent arguments about it.
The best part about it was that I was learning how to explain my thoughts and ideas better.
I’ve always had difficulties conveying my ideas so that people understand what I am saying. Through learning how to explain complex ideas, I was able to share my voice with the world. It is so rewarding (and even healing) to do so.
One of my favourite courses in philosophy was ethics and political theory because it really gave me an insight on our humanity and society has shaped over the course of history and how its been influenced by various ideologies. This has given me so much perspective on my own life and how I see the world.
When I transferred to McGill University partway through my undergrad, my reading material became a lot denser. I really refined my critical thinking skills through reading complex text and translating it.
I have also been emotionally affected by many of the readings (from Aristotle to existentialism), which are so deep and reveals a lot about us.
I feel like I can write pages and pages about how philosophy has transformed my personal views, but this is a blog so I’ll keep it short and end it here.
In short, philosophy has helped me find my voice and has given me a lot of food for thought when it comes to thinking about life.