5 Reasons Not to Decide Your Major Too Soon

It’s not always easy to decide your major, and there’s plenty of reasons not to rush this important decision. While you may feel pressured by your peers to pick your field of study now, there’s a good chance you’ll want to change your mind about your major somewhere along the way.

It’s Not Required

A lot of students don’t realize that they don’t actually need to declare their major until the end of sophomore year. That’s plenty of time to test the waters and see what really interests you. While you may feel pressured to choose a major because you’re friends have already made up their minds, there’s no rules forcing you. Don’t let anyone, either friend or counselor, pressure you to make a decision that you have plenty of time to think over. This is a big decision to make and its not worth rushing.

You’re Likely to Change Your Mind

The truth about many college students is that they don’t really know what they want to study. Personally, I’ve changed my majors and concentrations twice since I initially decided and some of my friends have flipped between four different majors over their first two years in college. Unless you’re incredibly confident in what you want to study, be wary of deciding too soon. You’re likely to change majors, so don’t worry about picking one too soon.

It Could Set You Back

If you end up deciding your major right away, you run the risk of wasting credits on courses that won’t count toward your major. This also applies to fields of study with numerous concentrations. Many colleges offer a wide range of concentrations for majors such as biology or psychology, and unfortunately these concentrations don’t always share requirements. By deciding too soon you could end up taking classes that won’t help you graduate in four years.

You’ll Have More Reason to Talk to Multiple Advisers

Unfortunately, not all college advisers are equal. Some take a hands off approach and allow students to pick what they want, while others might be more forceful in ensuring that you are set on the right academic path. If you’re undecided you’ll have ample opportunities to meet with various advisers and see who will be able to give you the best advice.

You Can Skip The Small Talk

Ok, this may be a little less serious, but another added benefit of not choosing your major is that you don’t have to repeatedly answer the same questions about your major when you’re at a social gathering. While I’m not against small talk (it serves a necessary and important role in easing awkward situations), the truth is no one likes being asked what their major is over and over when they go out to meet new people. Talk about something interesting and not about school for a change!

Take your time when deciding your major. And don’t be afraid to tell your friends ‘I told you so’ when they share their regrets over choosing their major before they were ready.

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Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals is a senior at DePaul University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. Outside of class, Ryan can be found working in the Pysch Lab or at a local health clinic. When he's not distracted by cat videos, he tries to balance his time between playing guitar, writing prose, and running around the soccer field.