I always enjoy talking about how I entered Islamic/Gender Studies. So here I go again.
In college, I started off as a biology major, totally planning to become a doctor (childhood dream.! No, wait, dream since birth! Consider it Desi influence, eh!). Studied bio for like 2.5 years, studied other things on the way (like philosophy and English), decided I wanted other things instead, fell in love with English, so changed to English. Did English for a semester or so, discovered I wasn't satisfied with it (the kinds of classes offered at my school didn't satisfy my urge), so changed to philosophy. My goal at this point was to become a lawyer :D
But then I noticed that the school had only a few exciting classes in philosophy, and I wasn't satisfied now either.:|
SO!! I decided to go for Women's Studies ... but the university didn't have a Women's Studies major, and I could only minor in it. So I chose Journalism as my other major.
In the meantime, I changed universities :D There, I decided I was gonna settle for Journalism and Women's Studies ('cause here, too, no Women's Studies major), and, c'mon now, I HAD to save the worllllld, yeah?
In the meantime, also, I re-considered my dream of medicine and made sure to finish my pre-med courses and take extra sciences -- just in case. 'Cause all this time, my parents were very disappointed that I wasn't intelligent enough to become a doctor. (Yara kho! These Easterners!) Once these sciences were done, I decided I was crazy for having re-considered, so I ran back to my selected major(s) -- Women's Studies and Journalism.
THENNNN ... I had long talks with different professors and advisers in Journalism and discovered that I don't *have* to major in Journalism or study Journalism in order to become a journalism or to go into the media.
So I had the same dilemma again: couldn't settle on a major! Decided I wanted more :shock:
In the meantime, I ran to these Pashtun friends, telling them I don't know what to major in and I'm supposed to be graduating soon! :| And, so, some suggested anthropology, some economics, some journalism, and so on ... they were like all of these will be of help to Pukhtuns in the long run.
But, nope, they didn't meet Qrratugai's desires :S So I took all these random classes to see which ones fit my interests and personality.
So, I took classes on the Quran, Hadith, Middle East, South Asia, etc. There, I met these brilliant Islamic Studies and Cultural Studies professors and was like, "OMG OMG OMG! Where have I BEEN! This is EXACTLY what I want!"
And so ...
My major now? Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies + Islamic Studies! :D And, omg, the BEST thing is that it deals with Afghanistan and Pukhtuns, toooooooo. And so I get to write all these fascinating papers and read all these lovely books in my "spare" time and talk for hours and hours about what I read and write, and the feeling is ammmmazing, guys!
So I SO got what I wanted in the end, a major in which at least four of my passions are combined: Pukhtun, Women, Islam, and history!
It's the BBBBEST thing I could do for myself and the world.
Oh, and this doesn't mean I've stopped taking classes in the other fields. I'm still in women's studies/gender-related courses, English/writing, philosophy, and journalism, but my official major is the Islamic Studies one :D
P.S. My parents are still not pleased, and my poor mother thinks that I must be being taught by Salman Rushdie :P And I've to remind her almost every other week that Salman Rushdie is not a scholar on Islam, and only renown scholars of Islam who have a PhD in Islamic Studies and Arabic are allowed to teach in our department. Still, according to her, Muslims shouldn't pursue Islamic Studies in the west. I'll write more on this another time, though.