Having Doubts About Your Major? It’s O.K. to Change!

“The average college student will change their major at least three times.”  This sentence, spoken to me by my academic advisor during my very first college orientation session, would become applicable to myself and other students in ways that I could not understand at the time.  My advisor emphasized this statistic as something every college freshman should be aware of: it is o.k. to change your mind!

Selecting a major is an extremely difficult decision, but one that will literally help determine the path the rest of your life will take.  For this reason, deciding on a major is of the utmost importance.

Too Many Choices

In today’s collegiate world, major choices are seemingly endless.  They can range from English, to botany, to mathematics, to anthropology, and still encompass everything in between.  As an incoming freshman, it is understandably hard to sift through the massive amount of possibilities and choose a major that is a perfect fit.  Students choose majors for a variety of reasons; career ambitions, academic interest, and in some cases, as a result of pressures from relatives or friends.  But in the end, a student’s major should be something they find suits their interests, passions, and goals.

As a freshman I experienced difficulties selecting a major.  As is typical for freshmen, I filled my schedule with mainly university requirements and general education classes, and only left a little room for electives.  As I moved through my first semester and I began to doubt my major choice, I remembered the advice my advisor gave to me on my first day on campus, “It’s ok to change your mind!”  Instead of being afraid to go in a new direction, I embraced a completely new major and didn’t look back.  I changed my major again the next semester, and the results proved to be rewarding.  Since my major revisions, I have been able to attain a rich and diverse education that is tailored specifically to my interests, and provides me with an excellent stepping-stone into career field I wish to pursue.

Don’t Wait to Make a Change

While it can be intimidating to decide to change your major, especially if it is a drastic change, (say physics to telecommunications), it is important to act quickly.  If you find yourself second-guessing your major choice, start exploring other options as soon as you can.  The earlier you change it, the more you avoid wasting time and money on credits that may not be applicable to your degree.  A faster switch also means more time you can spend working to attain your new degree.

Don’t Sweat the Credits

Keep in mind, that while you may be reluctant to change majors because you don’t want to see the credits you’ve earned to go down the drain, this is not always the case. A credit earned is still a credit earned, and that will count at almost every university for something in some way.  Every college major also has room for electives, and the classes you’ve taken when pursuing a previous major can often be applied there.

Consult an Advisor

It is extremely important to speak with an academic advisor.  If you’re contemplating changing your major, they are your best resource.  Talk it over with them; they will be able to offer you useful advice and guidance.  While you definitely don’t want to make a hasty change, you also don’t want to waste your time in a major that isn’t right for you, and an advisor can be a great help in clarifying your situation.

At the end of the day, picking a major is a choice you want to get right.  Your major will define what kind of education you will get, and usually what type of career you will choose to pursue.  While changing a major can, in some cases, lead to more credits and later graduation dates, the result will ultimately be worth it in the end.  Pursuing a major you find enjoyable, are comfortable with, and will apply favorably to your future is usually worth the little bit of extra time and money it may take.  However, changing your major in your first year will often have no effect on the amount of classes you will take, or when you graduate.

Follow Your Instincts

The moral of the story here is do not be afraid to change your major!  It is an extremely common choice amongst college students and can drastically improve your college experience, as well as your future career path.  And the sooner you change it, the better!  Don’t wait around until you realize that you actually hate being a biology major halfway through your senior year.  The earlier you can lock down a major, the better off you will be.

Some students are lucky enough to know exactly what they want to study right from their first day of college.  Others, like myself, are not so lucky, and struggle to make the critical major decision.  If you find yourself in the latter category, don’t fret; the majority of other college students are in the same situation.  Sometimes it takes time to find your perfect major, and this often means making a change.  When it comes down to it, do your research, consult an advisor, and follow your instincts.  And if you aren’t afraid to make a change, things will likely all fall into place.

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Mallory Londeck

Mallory Londeck

Mallory Londeck is a senior at Michigan State University double majoring in journalism and media & information. As a proud Spartan, Mallory is involved in many organizations on campus including the student radio station, campus tours, and university activities board. Outside of MSU, Mallory enjoys reading, writing, and watching movies. A self proclaimed “pop-culture fanatic,” she is always up-to-date on the latest entertainment news. She also enjoys playing Frisbee, volleyball, and snowboarding in her spare time.
Mallory Londeck

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