Poyer: Let’s talk about being a WGS major

Columnist Sarah Poyer discloses her love of being a women’s and gender studies major. 

Sarah Poyer

When I was applying to colleges, everyone had to give me advice. I mean everyone. My neighbor, my pastor at church, my brother, my uncle. Everywhere. The advice I got most was “Go somewhere that you feel most at home at,” which I decided was some pretty good advice.

I picked Iowa State because I did feel at home. To be honest, I was dead set on not coming here because my older brother did and I didn’t want to follow in his footsteps (sorry Jon!), but then I toured and I fell in love with campus. Did you know we have the most beautiful campus ever? Cliché I know, but it’s true. So I picked Iowa State, which was pretty neat, but then I didn’t have a major, which left me feeling pretty lost. When it came time to register for classes, I took the standard introductory liberal arts and sciences course and LIB 160. After that, I got to pick. 

So I picked women’s and gender studies (WGS) 201. I signed up for the class and the rest is history. However, that would be a pretty boring story. I remember being really excited for 201 every single Monday, Wednesday and Friday of that fall semester. Professor Stoehr made the class super interesting and I loved it. 

Now, I should give some more background on myself. I am on the pre-med track, which meant when coming to school, in my mind, I had to be a STEM major. So although I absolutely LOVED WGS 201, I couldn’t be a women’s and gender studies major, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

After a discussion with my adviser at the time, I realized I could have any major and still be a pre-med student. So I set out to find the right major, and I was pretty indecisive doing it. I couldn’t find anywhere where I felt at home, which was my end goal. 

I ended up as a psychology major for a semester. I was pretty miserable during that time too, but luckily for me it was summer so I could make the switch. I switched to WGS and I haven’t looked back since. I feel so at home and empowered in the WGS department. I absolutely love it and I can’t express that enough. 

I have learned so many wonderful things during my time as a WGS major. I have gotten to take some pretty neat classes such as feminist theories and ecofeminism. WGS has taught me just how much gender impacts our daily life in ways you wouldn’t even consider.

The classes and my professors have been nothing but wonderful. Within the past week, I have had discussions with two different WGS professors regarding my writings here at the Daily. They both told me they enjoyed reading my work. That made me feel good, but little did they know their classes were what got me started. I was inspired by all of the content I was learning and I knew I had to share it. 

If you’re out there doubting yourself and what major you want, don’t. Make the switch and follow your dreams, it may pan out really well for you. You might find a home you didn’t know you were looking for. Find an academic place where you feel at home and hit the ground running.