Double majoring? Dos, Don’ts and a Word of Warning.

Are you unable to choose between two passions? Fortunately, you don’t have to! Choosing to double major may sound appealing, especially to you studious or indecisive types. For me and my best friend, we happened to each fill that requirement entirely. However, we both have come through these past four years with entirely different results; I am graduating on time, and she got set behind a year.  Where we differed can literally make a year’s worth of difference, and, in college terms, that can make all the difference in the world.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects to choosing a double major:

  • Do:  Plan accordingly. This has got to be one of the most crucial things. If you even think about getting a second major (or even a minor) later on, keep in mind the additional classes that you’ll need to take, and especially how often they’re offered. A lot of times, there are classes for majors that are only offered once a year or even once every other year. You need to keep an especially close track of these ones.
  • Don’t: Wait until the last minute to choose to double major If you postpone declaring your major, one or both, and strictly taking gen Eds, you can miss some of the classes that you might not be able to fit into your schedule as easily again.  With the less time you’ll have, the more difficult it will be to cram as many requirements into the remaining semesters.
  • Do: Build a relationship with both of your advisors. If you have a major with less people, you may be able to have an independent study for a class that doesn’t fit (it worked for me on multiple occasions). Additionally, they’ll be able to tell you if there are any options in your major that you can take to keep you on track.
  • Don’t: Think you have time for electives. This probably goes without saying, but assuming that you’ll have time to take “fun” classes, or even that you’ll have enough space in your schedule to have a light load for a semester is probably …well, not right.  In my case, I had one 15 credit semester, and one 18 credit with an elective, and that put me back enough to require summer school. Additionally, there is probably very little time to redo classes, so unless you feel that you absolutely have to, don’t drop out. It’ll save you a retake later on.

Choosing to double major doesn’t have to be as difficult or intimidating as it often seems to be, nor does it have to be lengthy. It just takes some forethought and rational decisions, and, above all else, a desire to keep yourself on track, and on schedule. Even if you do have some issues, if your majors happen to be similar enough, they should be able to be smoothed out pretty easily.  Double majoring is tough, but not impossible, and is often times a rewarding experience.

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Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes is a senior at Benedictine University, with a double major in Writing & Publishing and Theology. She spends her free time working on Benedictine’s newspaper, The Candor, as well as being a member of Daughters of Isabella, Students for Life, and helping around University Ministry. Any other extra time is filled with reading, writing, cooking, video editing, biking or walking around the lake.

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