Finding his passion in SPIA

By Joseph Suen

I remember having a hard time deciding what to major in before arriving at the University of Georgia. Mainly, this was due to the fact that I didn’t know what I had a passion for and what I wanted to do as a profession after graduating. I can still remember looking through all the different majors that UGA had to offer. Biology and Sciences? I barely passed those classes in high school. Mathematics and Calculus? Even worse. However, I did know one thing, and this was that I wanted to study something special in college, something outside of the scope of high school, and something I was passionate about. That is when I came across the political science major option in the list, and something in my heart just clicked. I have always enjoyed reading about political news and was interested in governments, especially because I was studying abroad away from the United States. I never had the chance in high school to study about politics, law, or even international affairs, so the option to study about the science of politics was intriguing to me. Fast-forward to my first day as a freshman at UGA, and I’m sitting in my POLS 1101 class. Out of the millions of pieces of information that I was soon to be given throughout my college career, I still remember the very first: “you may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.”. After hearing that, I nodded and listened intently to my very first lecture as a student of SPIA. My political science classes have always been different than my other classes in college, in that I was always learning something that I was eager to try and immediately fit into my daily thinking. Knowing that politics is interested in me, I wanted to become more interested in politics and so reinvigorated my interest in my surrounding political environment. However, I faced a personal battle within myself in deciding whether political science was the way to go. Most of my friends were business/science majors, and I was pressured to “follow the group”. And so I did. In my first semester of Sophomore year, I reluctantly decided to quit SPIA and try to join Terry in pursuit of a business degree. Unlike before, becoming a business major didn’t seem like my own choice, but rather a choice I made through pressure. As a result, my heart wasn’t in the classes I took, and I had a hard time trying to find myself in the course material. After a semester away from the political science major, I decided to rejoin SPIA because I felt that my heart had to be 100% in the classes I took, and anything else would be a waste of time. This journey helped me realize that every student has different fortes and different passions. I now realize that SPIA is the school for me, and I’m proud at the opportunity to represent the school I’m so passionate about.