Last year, as I sought to get my life in perspective, someone told me that yours choices after college are so hard because your whole life you were learning and increasing your areas of knowledge until after college you start whittling down you path narrower and narrower. I could immediately see why I was attracted to the secondary (also known as a “minor” in other schools) I ended up choosing, “Mind, Brain, Behavior”.
Mind, Brain, and Behavior (MBB) is a track program, which means that you can take classes from a number of related (and seemingly unrelated) departments and combine those classes into a concentration (major) or secondary. There’s a few other “track programs” such as this and it is great because it allows for exploration and a widening of knowledge that a single department concentration (e.g., government, English) often doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m concentrating in government myself, but the track program is a great opportunity to take advantage of and really offers a holistic education.
Consider the list of MBB departments that have integrated into the track program: Computer Science, History and Science, Human Evolutionary Biology, Linguistics, Neurobiology, Philosophy, and Psychology. The research in each department tends to tie into all the others anyway, so its great to integrate them through taking a variety of classes and utilizing the knowledge in a cohesive thesis (senior project).
Since I only did it as a secondary, my thesis was specific instead to my concentration. MBB as an integrated track program is a honors program, so that anyone who concentrates in it is required to do a thesis. But there are a number of other great track programs at Harvard to consider as well. One of the most popular, and my roommate’s, is Social Studies (also a honors program).
What sounds like a middle school history course is actually a great combination of the social sciences including government, economics, and statistics, among others. For your senior thesis, you even get to come up with an individualized focus field that you can then use to write about your thesis (“Inequality in the United States;” “Development in Africa”).
So if you are about to make your venture into college, embrace all the opportunities you can for exploration and widening your knowledge—you may be surprised at the cohesiveness of it all.
Hope you all have a great week!
PS. I thought since I didn’t have that many cool photos to go with this week’s post, I would supply you with a random photo from my week around Cambridge. Just walk down the street in this city and you come across the best things–for example, here, two Cambridge locals (Ben & Jerry’s and B.Good) giving out free donation-based ice cream & milkshakes).