by Sarah Allen

My name is Sarah Allen, and I am an International Affairs and Political Science double major with a minor in General Business. When I moved into my first residence hall, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be at UGA, much less what I wanted to major in. I applied to UGA as a biology major, but after making it through AP Biology my senior year of high school, I knew that was definitely not the major for me. Before orientation I changed my major to a double major in International Affairs and Political Science. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to ultimately major in those two areas, but I love politics and history so, it was a good place to start.

My first ever SPIA class was POLS 1101 American Government with Dr. Audrey Haynes. I was participating in the Freshman College Summer Experience, which allows incoming UGA Freshmen to start college earlier by enrolling in summer classes for the month of July. I didn’t participate in dual enrollment in high school, so this was also my first ever college class. I loved the class. Dr. Haynes was incredibly supportive of everyone in the class, and she made learning so much fun. I loved her class so much I decided to take another SPIA class in the fall, INTL 1100 Introduction to Global Issues with Dr. Loch Johnson. That class made me fall in love with International Affairs, so I knew I wanted to stay an International Affairs major.

Towards the end of my freshman year, I decided that I wanted some sort of data analysis skills to go with my SPIA degree. I looked at the possibility of adding an economics minor as an understanding of the economy would be important if I decided I wanted to study and/or work in public policy, only to discover the UGA does not offer an economics minor. I decided to take the plunge and change my major from International Affairs and Political Science to International Affairs and Economics.

So, I spent my sophomore year taking all of the prerequisites to apply to the Terry College of Business, and I was accepted as an economics major this past spring. Over the summer I was excited to take my first major level economics class, ECON 4010 Intermediate Microeconomics. About two weeks into the class I realized that I hated it. I despised doing the calculus that was required, I disliked the way economics simplified human behavior into an equation, and consumer economics was not what I had expected to be learning about, even though I then realized that was how all of the major level economics class would be taught.

I changed my major yet again, going back to the combination I had started college with, International Affairs and Political Science. I now know this is the right choice for me because of all of the experiences I have had in SPIA. From amazing professors who have helped me on every step of my journey, to supportive peers I can debate the finer points of public policy with, and everyone and everything in between, I could not ask for a better college to be a part of.