Another Athlete in Econ

6 mins read

One of the most popular majors at Swarthmore is economics. In every economics class, there is a clump, or multiple clumps, of students who are immediately recognizable as athletes due to the sheer number that become econ majors.

Needless to say, I didn’t get an enthusiastic response when I told my team I was interested in studying chemistry. In fact, there was a noticeable flinch among the older guys, which I hadn’t paid any attention to at the time, and one of the captains told me, “Most of the guys on the team take econ.” Okay … cool?

I made the mistake of sitting with the team during class registration. The deadline was quickly approaching for the “first come, first served” classes. I had my chemistry class lined up, but when the time arrived, they convinced me to copy-paste the class code for Introduction to Economics as well.

I took Econ 001 that semester and hated it. My teammates weren’t even in the same section as me. Why was I in this class?

When I complained to one of my older teammates about it, they just said, “Dude it’s really easy to get into business school as an econ major.” Oh, okay. Cool.

Not to mention chemistry was really hard. My teacher handed me back my first test. “Perhaps a different major would be more suitable for someone like you,” she said snidely while handing me back my D.

But I liked chemistry … didn’t I?

Of course I did, I just had to work harder. How’d I get better at ball? I put in the time and work, I just had to do the same here.

I went to alchemist sessions and office hours. I read the sections from the book twice. I watched Khan Academy. Whatever it took. I cranked out a B+ in my first chem class, and when registration rolled around I felt I was more than ready for two at the same time.

The guys in my grade again convinced me to take an econ class with them somehow, and second semester econ was fine. I was much more interested in chem and pretty sure I was going to drop econ all together next semester.

One night I was heading back to my dorm after a late night alchemist session. Something drove me to walk in front of Trotter on the way back to Willets. As I was walking past the Arboretum building, I remember hearing a rustling in the bushes, then feeling a searing pain in the back of my head. Everything went dark.

Someone jolted me awake. All I could see was a blinding white light, and all I could feel was a searing pain in my head. My arms and legs were held to the chairs with zip ties.

“Hello?” I shouted.

“SILENCE,” a voice boomed. The sound reverberated around the small room, trapping itself inside my head and giving the feeling that an ice pick was being jammed into my already throbbing head.

I waited for the pain to subside and then tried again, “What do you want?”


What? Is that really what this was about?

“You have to be kidding me!” I shouted back.


Base programming? What the heck does that mean?

As the countdown started the white light that been blinding me began changing colors. It was some kind of screen, and it began to flash shapes and change colors.


I tried to look at anything except the screen, but it encompassed my entire vision. I tried to squeeze my eyes shut, but it felt like my eyelids were made of tissue paper. The lights and shapes continued to change and flash and there was nothing I could do to get away. I felt my mind going numb.

“Three… Two…”

I don’t ever remember hearing one.

I woke up in a bush with one of my teammates standing over me. “You ok? The hell are you doing in a bush?”

He told me it looked like a branch had fallen from the tree and hit me in the head. “The wind must have blown it lose. You gotta watch out for stuff like that at an arboretum! Hahaha.”

I went back to my room and checked what I still had to do for the night. “Aw man, I’ve still got chemistry to finish. I can’t stand that class.” I think I’ll probably drop that class next semester.

Besides, I need to get into a good business school…

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