“‘Major’ Changes” by Annie Lee

I’ve never really known what I wanted to do in the future. As a child, I answered “teacher” to the infamous question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” but only because it was the only job I could think of. As a middle-schooler, my answer varied from person to person, vacillating between some hems and haws in an attempt to feign certainty, as if a person just diving into the double-digit years could know exactly what they wanted out of their one and only life. As a senior in high-school, when the answer would finally matter and actually legitimize itself on official college applications, my mind echoed with the resoundingly hopeless answer of “I don’t know.”

I say “hopeless” because I adamantly did not want to go into college undecided. I figured that if I went in undecided, my first semester would consist of me sampling different classes in some pitiful attempt to find one that suited my tastes, and how could I not fall behind if I was dipping my toes in the water while my peers were fully submerging themselves in the deep-end? My worry was that my classes as an undecided student would not contribute anything significant to my future.

I know now that I was wrong, but I wish I had realized it sooner. For any current high-schoolers that may see this, do not pick a major if your primary reason for picking it is to avoid being labeled as an undecided student, because it is entirely ok to be undecided. Going into college undecided is even advantageous in that it gives you the opportunity to make a more affirmative decision on, quite arguably, the biggest decision of your life. For any current college students like me, who forced themselves into a major in avoidance of entering undecided—or who were sure of the major they picked, but are experiencing a confusing change of heart—the next part is for you.

For me, at least, even the thought of changing majors is daunting. I took an entire semester’s worth of classes, and now I have to start over. And I know that the classes I’ve already taken were an “opportunity to expand my horizons” and a “chance to eliminate the majors I don’t want” or any other clichéd words of reassurance, but I cannot shake the feeling that I wasted my first three months of college. Regardless, there are, thankfully, resources at UD to help make the most of the remaining semesters. There’s a list with descriptions for every major along their accompanying required classes, so that you can shop around for one that not only sounds like the right one, but also is comprised of a curriculum suited for you. I think it is dangerously easy to be attracted to just the title of a major without knowing its further implications, so this tool is extremely helpful in allowing its users to get a deeper grasp on what they are getting themselves into.

From this website, you can also set up an appointment with a career counselor under “Career Assessment” for an evaluation of your traits in order to best fit them to a career. If you’d prefer not to meet with someone, you can go under “Career Exploration” and look at what others have to say about the majors you’re interested in, or just explore possible majors in even more depth. These tools have helped me find some comfort in the transition from one major to another, but it ultimately relies on you taking the initiative to explore further beyond your major of initial interest. Hopefully, for those who are currently uncertain, these resources help in at least sparking an interest in a different field.

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1 Comment

  1. This is such important advice! I want to share this with students at NSO 🙂

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