I came to MIT intending to pursue a double major in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biology, with a view to attending medical school after my four years at the Institute were up. I had always loved to read, and hoped that going the science route wouldn’t deprive me of that pleasure. I took my first literature class in Spring of my freshman year, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was nothing like the literature classes I had taken in high school. A large emphasis was placed on student led discussion and active interpretation of the works. I decided right then that I would take at least one literature class a term, so as to not lose touch with one of my favorite pastimes. After a few semesters, I felt that I should more formally declare my interest, and I applied for a major in Literature. I have to say this was one of the best decisions I’ve made at MIT. The classes offered are broad enough that I was able to explore different genres and periods, but the department is small enough that I was able to take multiple classes with the same professor, and track my progress as a student.
I’m still intent on going to medical school– that hasn’t changed. But I did downsize Biology into a minor to make room for my Literature major. I’m absolutely glad I did; I can honestly say I have not taken a single literature class that I did not enjoy.