The 5 Ws of Life: Why

During my last interview, I was asked why I chose the major I did. Now normally, the answer is easy, but having recently changed my major (from Aerospace Engineering to Mechanical Engineering at the time), things got more complicated. On one hand, I had to tell the truth, but I also had to frame it as a positive and reasonable change while simultaneously not looking overly opportunistic.

Get the picture?

But at the crux of this question lies the desire to learn about reasoning: about why we do what we do when what we do has different perspectives.


We all do things. Me, I like to learn languages and communicate, to learn about their life stories out of interest. My girlfriend, she loves to perform as a creative outlet. My dog, she loves to pee to maintain homeostasis and annoy the members of my household in one fell swoop.

The one critical takeaway from this one is to focus less on the activity and more on the reasoning behind it. We can join a volunteer organization and distribute free shoes to those in need all we want–but that doesn’t necessarily make us good people. The difference between a good person and an inopportune opportunist is that the good person does it out of a genuine desire to help. The opportunist just does it because it will make them look good.

I guess, as we go about doing–and building our resumes, or our profiles or our registers of self-worth–it would help us to turn an eye inward from time to time and ponder the great mystery of life: why did I just do that?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. duebyfriday says:

    well said! looking forward to reading more of your posts. I also switched degrees, even schools! halfway through college, but it was for the best.

    1. raulrgonza says:

      Thank you! And those changes are interesting, aren’t they? Glad to hear that you’ve adapted well!

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