Archive for the ‘Majors & Minors’ Category
Did your heart leap for joy when you read the title of this post? Deep down, are you hoping this list validates your suspicions that you need to change your major? If so, it might be time for you to make some moves! Read through these warning signs and then decide for yourself if you definitely need to switch your studies.
- You are bored. You either fall asleep in classes that pertain to your major or daydream through them and barely pay attention. You could not care less about the subject matter and the professors bore you. The uninteresting lectures never seem to improve and every class is a reminder that you are wasting your time. If you are this bored, you might want to change your major.
- You are failing. Or close to failing. In any case, you are doing terribly in your major classes. You don’t understand the subject matter or struggle with the concepts. Even after trying to work with professors or tutors, nothing really makes sense to you. If you are frustrated with how difficult the classes are, you might want to change your major.
- You chose it just to choose one. You were applying to schools and they said, “Declare!” so you declared! It was as if you closed your eyes and picked a major out of a hat. Or perhaps the only thought you gave the decision was, “English is broad. I’ll major in English.” If you are not passionate about your studies and just chose something so you’d have an answer when people asked about it, you might want to change your major.
- You browse other majors. You find yourself scrolling through your school’s website on the regular, researching other majors and growing slightly jealous of students studying exotic things like Electrical Engineering or Music Theory. You fantasize about reading American History textbooks or designing clothing for an exhibition. If you can see yourself strongly in another department and dream about it constantly, you might want to change your major.
- You chose it to please your parents. Mom and Dad said, “Pre-med!” so you declared Pre-med! Mom and Dad said, “Business!” so you declared Business! Well, Mom and Dad don’t have to go to your classes, nor are they you. You are the one who will do the work and work the job in the future, so make sure you choose a major that satisfies YOU. If you felt forced into your major, you might want to change it. Talk to your counselor about your options if you feel you need a boost in the right direction here.
- You dread working. You realize that even if you ace your major’s classes and can stay focused, you cannot stand the thought of spending your life post-graduation working in your chosen field. If you abhor all the jobs available within your major, you might want to change your major.
When deciding on a major, it is important to first assess what you are interested in and what careers are available for someone with your intended skill set. You will have many opportunities to put your studies to work in classes, jobs, and internships throughout college, which will also help you narrow down your field of study to something that you will genuinely enjoy doing after you graduate. As a freshman, if you find yourself struggling to pick a major, don’t worry! There’s still time to figure it out, and the great thing about college is that it’s pretty easy to change your major later on if you feel you may be better suited to study something else.
What Do You Like?
An easy way to preliminarily decide what you want to major in is to think about what you liked learning in high school. There are different paths available in every major from computer science to nutrition to art and design, and understanding where your general academic interests lie is a great way to narrow down the field. Once you decide what subject you’d like to explore, the major requirements you need to take will help you figure out which specific aspects of the subject most appeals to you.
Make the Most of General Requirements
Throughout college, you will need to take certain classes to fill university-wide requirements. Generally, students will need to take a combination of a foreign language, an introduction to science, a low-level math class, and one or two college writing classes in order to graduate. Though you may initially see these classes as an undesirable addition to your course load, changing your attitude and seeing them as a way to explore different majors can help you find a subject you may be drawn to that you weren’t aware of before. It is very common for students to change majors after declaring, or pick up a minor they would have never considered upon entering school. Look through the course guide and pick classes that meet requirements and afford you the opportunity to explore new interests.
Use Your Resources
College syllabi and older upperclassmen can be great resources when choosing on a major. Many professors will post required readings and assignments with the course description, allowing you to see what the workload will be like before you sign up for the class. As you decide what classes to take, explore the syllabi and see if the coursework is something that interests you. If you find yourself dreading most of the work you will have during the semester, it may be a good idea to consider looking for different tracks of study within your field, or changing your major altogether. Another great resource that is available is the peer-advising office, where you can get advice and talk to upperclassmen in your major about what they enjoy most and least about the program.
Most college students will change their major at least once, whether it be something simple, such as transferring from one branch of engineering to another, or something more drastic, such as going from a criminal justice major to an art major. While knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life comes naturally to some people, for many, it’s a struggle. Students often find themselves in majors they aren’t sure about. Here are some signs you’re in the right one.
You Geek Out Over It
When you start learning things in your lectures that completely fascinate you, and you find yourself repeating them to your friends at the dining hall, you have picked the right college major. When your professor’s door is covered with nerdy cartoons relevant to your field, and you both understand them and find them funny, you have picked the right college major. When you find yourself doing extra research on a topic just because you found it interesting, you’re in the right college major! The area you choose to study should be something you enjoy learning about.
You Think About It on Your Own Time
As a college student you are expected to take on some initiative, and to have your own motivation when it comes to pursuing your field. At some point, college will be over, and with the knowledge you are given, you will have to decide for yourself how to best apply it. Your major has to be something you actively consider even when you’re not in class. If you find yourself dwelling on a theory before you fall asleep, or thinking about what methods you could someday use in your future job, you have picked the right college major!
You Feel Successful in It
While part of choosing a college major is picking something you like, the other part is picking something you can do well enough to get a paycheck. That is, after all, the main point of going to college and finding a job. The major you choose should make you feel strong and confident. Your major should make you feel smart. Your major should make you feel as if you can accomplish anything. If dissecting a frog, building an engine, or giving a presentation makes you feel like you’re in your zone, then you have picked the right college major!
You Sometimes Don’t Like It So Much
Even if you have picked the right college major, there will be days where you sort of hate it. There will be times where you wondered if you should have picked something a little easier, or something that would make more money, or something where you didn’t have to take a particular stressful test. It’s okay to have these feelings. Just because you don’t necessarily “like” your major 100% of the time doesn’t mean you’ve picked the wrong one. Everything has peaks and valleys. The way you know you’ve picked the right major is that the next peak is right around the corner!
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