I didn’t get that much out of college, other than friends, knowledge, life experiences, and the ability to blow up an opponent in lacrosse. I majored in math, and now I’m a finance and systems consultant. Related, fine. But they are two different disciplines. I studied linguistics, and while I’m able to speak several languages, I don’t really pay much attention to language, per se. I minored in Russian, though, and that deeply, thoroughly, and massively affected my life – the choices I made, the places I lived, even all the way through to my spouse and (eventually) my kids. So don’t assume college doesn’t matter… it just doesn’t matter the way you think it will. I thought I would be a famous mathematician based on my time in college. Nope. But little did I suspect I’d become a Russophile and become “russkiy v sertsye” – Russian at heart.
But that’s not the biggest part of it. Without developing my Russian skills I wouldn’t have met, pursued and married my wife. Maybe if I had taken Japanese I would have lived in Japan, developed a fondness for all things Japanese. Hard to say. But I do know that the decision to learn Russian set in motion the life process that brought me to where I am today.