(2009) Major Angst: Camille Israel

Name: Camille Israel

Talk Title: “Major Angst”

Notes: Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology, 4th year

Topic:Sometime during her first year at UBC, Camille started collecting examples of famous people with seemingly random majors. Did you know Garfunkel of Simon & Garfunkel was a Math major? Julia Roberts studied to be a veterinarian? Juanita Kidd Stout, the first African American to serve in state Supreme Court, was a music student?

Camille once suffered from a syndrome that seems to plague university students. It is the syndrome that caused the creation of the infamous facebook group, I Picked a Major I Like, and One Day I Will Probably Be Living In a Box. Camille has taken to calling it Major Angst. And so she uses these examples to remind herself that, if these people achieved success even though they didnt figure out their passion until after university, she is lucky to have already figured out what she loves to do. She still hasnt quite figured out how she’s going to turn her passion into a career, but she has stopped worrying about it. She has chosen to believe in her abilities.

She wants to use her opportunity to speak in front of the student community to remind students that its ok not to have their future figured out yet. Its ok to study something you love without stressing out about your career path. Its ok to not be sure what you want to do when you grow up, when you are already, by all accounts, grown up. She wants students to stop considering their education as means to an end, and start seeing it as a love affair with learning.


Filmed by Craig Ross at TEDx Terry talks 2009 (October 3rd, 2009). Video edited by David Ng.

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