By Maggie Christopher
A Day in the Life of a __ Major is a column describing what an average day looks like for a student in a specific major at Agnes. This installment investigates the daily life of a Political Science major.
10 a.m. Maggee Chang sits at the front of a classroom as the last of the students filter in. First years. Maggee is not here to learn, but to teach as class’s assigned CWS tutor. After the class ends, Maggee has fifteen minutes to walk across campus to another job. Though she admits someone may need to teach her a little something about balance, she is a strong advocate for students learning how to say “no.” This is a lesson Maggee learned in her second semester at Agnes Scott. She applied for five jobs the spring semester of her first year, not expecting to get all of them, but as the acceptances piled atop one another, she found herself facing a mountain of tasks. Maggee got every job she had applied for, but it was impossible to commit to all of them. She had to say no. “A lot of first years,” says Maggee, “feel like they have to say yes to everything.” She works to remedy this in her tutoring positions or as a SUMMIT Peer Advisor by teaching other students the importance of setting boundaries with work and academics.
Maggee entered Agnes Scott knowing she wanted to major in political science.
“In high school I was really interested in politics,” Maggee says, “and growing up in a majority white area, my issues weren’t really heard, or I didn’t have the same issues as my peers.”
Political science seemed to be a way to more deeply understand the questions Maggee had and hopefully to find answers to those questions. An enjoyment of true crime podcasts in high school led Maggee on a path to become a lawyer, but after her first political science class at the college, she realized that law school was not her calling. She spoke to her professor to better understand the opportunities that a political science major offers, and she encourages other students to do the same.
12:30 p.m. Maggee leaves work and spends the afternoon on independent classwork. During this break in her schedule, she focuses on schoolwork instead of leisure, saving her self care for the mornings and weekends. “Talking to friends throughout the day makes up for how busy I am,” says Maggee. She blocks out times on her calendar for classwork, preventing schedule conflicts and offering her a precise idea of her availability.
3:40 p.m. It’s time for Maggee to make her way to her own class: Gender Politics. Armed with her completed reading, she climbs the Buttrick stairs and settles into the classroom. Lecture. Discussion. Group work. More discussion. Maggee learns not only from the readings and analysis, but also from these class discussions. She recognized the importance of good writing and communication, especially during the pandemic, where remote communication relies on effective use of language. She learns these skills from her Agnes Scott education as well as her tutoring and advising positions. Hearing positive feedback from superiors reassures Maggee of this. “It reassure[s] me that I’m not wasting my time here,” says Maggee.
4:55 p.m. Class gets out, leaving Maggee only five minutes to meet her coworkers and thirty minutes to prepare for the Thursday teatime session: getting back on track after Black Cat week. Her responsibility as a SUMMIT Peer Advisor is teaching first years valuable skills they can apply throughout their academic career, and that is exactly what the peer advisors aim to accomplish with these teatimes. It is in meetings like these or in interactions with her tutees throughout the day that she hands out tips to help them advance their academic careers: Read The Irvine every morning. Talk to your professors. Look for keywords. Maggee leaves these pieces of advice behind as she reaches toward the future, but whether the future may hold a career in journalism or academia, Maggee is confident that she will succeed. “I know that I’m not sure about my career, but I’m sure I’ll fall on my feet wherever I go,” says Maggee.