Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Jade Hui ’20 is pursuing an English major and a sociology minor at Connecticut College. As part of Connections, Conn’s new curriculum, she will declare her Pathway, Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Value and Change, this fall. Jade works as a tour guide for the Office of Admission and as a student adviser to first-years. She is a member of the a cappella group The Connartists, and treasurer of the Ski and Snowboard Club.
Like many first-years, when I arrived at Conn I had no idea what I wanted to study. College was a whole new experience not only for me but for my family as well, seeing as I would be the first person in my family to attend. Though I didn’t know what kind of learner I was or what I wanted to pursue, I knew that I loved to read, which led me to major in English. My passion for literary analysis and intensive reading was the perfect base for starting to hone in on my critical thinking skills and essay writing. While I continue to thoroughly enjoy my English classes, I wanted to be able to connect these skills through a more worldly and culturally broad lens, which led me to minor in sociology.
In my first sociology class with Professor Abby Willis, we delved into the study of society and how we humans interact within it. I found it fascinating. What made it even more intriguing was relating it back to English and how the stories I’ve read in my classes came to be and why. I looked at this through a sociological lens. While I was able to connect these two realms of study, I still wanted more. I wanted more versatility in my major and minor as well as a way to use everything I have been learning in the real world. As a student adviser, my role is to aid in the transition of first-year students from high school to college whether that be academically or socially. A large part of my training had to do with knowing the ins and outs of the Connections curriculum in order to explain it to first-year students. However, in listening to Dean of the College Jefferson Singer eagerly explain the program I was inspired to pursue it myself.
The Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Value and Change Pathway looks to teach students innovative and creative problem-solving techniques that they can potentially bring into the workforce. Through the Pathway’s Thematic Inquiry course, students learn how to construct an animating question that will eventually culminate into a project that will be presented to the Connecticut College community. I have been reflecting on what I could create with the combination of my major, minor and Pathway. I am interested in starting a nonprofit organization around the education of children through literature. I have also been thinking about working with apps, considering that businesses have been evolving with the ever-changing technology of this age. The possibilities are endless. I specifically chose this Pathway because, in coordination with my major and minor, I can combine skills I learn in my major with the skills I learned from my Pathway and be prepared for whatever the real world may throw at me.
Connections gives students the opportunity to take their passions and join them with collaborative thinking and problem-solving skills that will benefit us as we begin to take the world by storm. Though I love Conn and am not anxious to leave such an amazing place, I am eager to be able to say that I have graduated with everything I need to be a successful adult adept with the tools that could carry me to any field I choose.