Photo by Leisa Thompson

On the Diag

Fall 2017

Trevor de Sibour, ’18 | A Major Reader

Our student reporter randomly chats with a fellow student on the Diag.

What book are you reading? I’m reading “Gone with the Wind.” I love it. I took this English class last semester about American classics and controversies. Since some consider this book to be one of the greatest American classics, I wanted to check it out and read it this summer.

I take it you are an English major. Actually, I’m not. I am a biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience major: BCN for short. I came into college being pre-med and eventually declared neuroscience as my major. I loved it and was doing well in my classes and doing research at Mott Children’s Hospital. I then had to take a semester off for mental health reasons. During that time, I started to question what I wanted to do with my life. I decided I was going to come back and be an English major.

That must have been really hard. How did you then become a BCN major? It was hard, but it was also exciting because I found the perfect fit for me. I loved my classes and learning in a different way than I had been learning before. But part of me really missed the natural sciences. I refocused myself and decided the BCN major encompassed both the science and the parts of the English major that I loved, like focusing on the human experience. 

Is it difficult to switch majors? Did you ever feel stressed about finishing on time? Well, I switched majors a lot, to be honest. Some might even say I was addicted to it. But I was able to make it work. Altogether, I will now be finishing in five years. Technically, it’s just one extra semester.

Was the semester of being an English major valuable? I found it valuable, because it confirmed it wasn’t the right field for me. I also feel like I’m able to explore more social issues and better understand the human experience with BCN. You learn to understand how the brain works. I love that. I want to know what makes people, people. But I took one of my favorite classes at the University in the English department, the classics class. Look, it’s the summer and I’m reading “Gone with the Wind.” Clearly, it left a mark.

So, do you recommend taking English classes if you are pre-med? Without a doubt. It makes you a more empathetic person. It will make you a more empathetic doctor. It’s such an interdisciplinary field: sociology, anthropology, psychology… .

You love all the “ologies”! All of them. 

Where do you get your love for reading? My mom and my grandma.

Where are your favorite places to read on campus? Definitely the Arb. There’s this meadow that I go to with a tree that I sit under. It’s my tree. If someone else is sitting there, I might glare at the person. Reading there puts me in a positive mindset. 

Do you think U-M gave you the ability to explore your interests? Yeah, there are so many opportunities here. What I love about Michigan is that every department is excellent and no matter what you choose you’re going to have an amazing education.

Sylvanna Gross, ’17, was an international studies major, with minors in oceanography and art history. This fall, she is attending the University of Edinburgh, working toward a master’s degree in marine systems and policy.