GRACE’S VIEW: People watching

Teen Beat | Grace Fowler

Several days ago at the lunch table, a very interesting discussion arose. It centered around people watching. My friends and I were talking about how, during meal times in the cafeteria, we all love to watch people and make inferences about what their lives might be like. We thought about things like what kind of careers they would have, if they were in relationships or not, and what kind of a social life they might have. I don’t know 90 percent of the people I watch in the dining hall. I don’t know how old they are, where they’re from or what their voice sounds like. And somehow, I am able to make these snap judgments about their lives.

One of the kids I was sitting with said that at some university that he knew of there was a way to kind of “invent” your own major. If you were able to come up with some kind of a curriculum and get a staff member to approve it, you could probably end up majoring in almost anything you want. We then discussed how we could make “people watching” into a major. We decided that you would probably need to take a psychology class or two to understand how people think, a sociology class to understand how people interact, and maybe some kind of a communications class. We then talked about what kind of a career you could get into with this major.

The coolest one we came up with was being a spy. Another more practical one would be something to do with marketing/advertising research. If you were able to study people and the kinds of things they gravitated toward, you would have a much better knowledge base for what kind of products people would most likely choose. We decided the salary wouldn’t be anything too extravagant because, honestly, most of people watching can be done while sipping a cappuccino at a coffee shop — little to no effort required.

If I had my druthers, I would most definitely major in people watching. I don’t know what kind of a career path I would take but the satisfaction of doing something I already love, every day for the rest of my life and getting paid for it sounds like pure bliss.

Grace Fowler is a Greenville High School graduate and a Hope College freshman. She can be reached at

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