Friday College Town Hall

In Friday College Town Hall, we post a question about college, and you leave an answer in the comment field. Today’s question:

Between 30-40% of incoming college freshmen are undecided on a major when they enter college. It’s also estimated that between 75-80% of students change their majors during their college careers.

Is it good to be open minded about your studies or does jumping around majors hurt you in the process?

Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet at  @Cappex to chime in (we’ll post your answer below)!

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  1. dearryka says:

    It might be good, but jumping around too much. If you are a picky person try new things in your freshman and sophomore years so you won’t be short when it’s time to graduate :)

  2. Lindsay Shemansky says:

    It is definately great to be open minded about college majors. I entered UNF going for nursing..yet I have changed it to high school education in english! Sometimes you have to take a few courses to see if you will really excel, and your inner intuition kicks in and lets you know that maybe that career choice just isn’t for you. A lot of universities offer career testing to see where you would best excel as a career, and many also offer career classes just for those who are unsure about their major AND the class counts towards your undergraduate degree!

  3. Tomas says:

    It varies with major requirements and schools. Being opened minded allows you to take a variety of classes and get a feel for what you might really like to major in. But at a certain point, if you keep jumping around you won’t be able to fulfill your major requirement and potentially not graduate in 4 years as the majority of students would like, or have to depending on the money situation,to do. At some schools it’s easier to do and others you really need to know by the end of your freshman year or middle of your sophomore year.

  4. elisa says:

    I think it depends on the person. Some people go in knowing what they wanna do, others don’t. I say do something you love and pick wisely.

  5. Liz says:

    It is always good to be open minded about everything. As long as you have at least some kind of goal to set your sights on when you start college. A positive goal of where you see yourself when you get out of college. That way you can work through college to reach your goal, even if it does include changing your major once or more or entering college as an undecided student.

  6. Anne says:

    It probably depends on what you end up choosing. Engineering, for example, does not leave room in your schedule for much wiggle room. If you switch around with that sort of thing, you will probably delay graduation.

  7. Ryan H says:

    I think it’s incredibly important to be open minded. I came into college as a Psychology major, but I jumped around a lot since before coming back to Psychology. I spent a semester as a math major, and another as a graphic design major. I got to spend some time exploring other areas I was interested in. I’m glad I did because I would have hated to go the rest of my life wondering what it would have been like to have explored something else.

  8. Sarah says:

    Keeping an open mind in college could definitely be a great thing! Some people go to college, even with a specific major in mind that will take them into their desired career, only to find through their studies that whatever they were planning on really wasn’t for them. By keeping an open mind, these people are able to find what they truly want to and truly can do, rather than staying stuck in a major and a future career that they might hate. On the other hand, switching majors can be painful, depending on how much major coursework you have done already. It is perhaps a good idea to only change majors if you’re really serious about it, not just to explore different areas. Sometimes it’s necessary. In all, it’s better to change your major than to keep a closed mind and be stuck with a hated career for the rest of your life!

  9. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being undecided or changing majors while attending school. There are many of the majors that overlap and sometimes it’s confusing to determine exactly what is a “good fit” and what is “just a curiosity” My own situation is a perfect example. I am an adult learner/non-traditional student starting my freshman year next month. I love doing research and often find myself conducting a search on totally obscure topics.And I am a very avid reader. As a result of these interests, my major is Information Systems/Library Paraprofessional, however, I have been intrigued by history both American and European since high school. I have also been extremely active in researching my family genealogy for several years. All of these interests overlap and could easily lead me to re-evaluate my major once I’ve started classes.

  10. Ann Wickham says:

    Well yes, it is good to keep an open mind because you don’t want to get into a career that you hate. However, it gives you a disadvantage because you would be older and not knowing the system of that career as well as every one thinks you should. Now what needs to be done is to have a system for being in high school or maybe even middle school where a group of students can go and see what a day in the job they’re thinking about is like.

  11. Cricket Garancosky says:

    I have changed my major 3 times and I am still graduating in 3.5 years. I believe being undecided is fine, thats what general education classes are for! They are good at helping you determine what you do and do not like.

  12. Holley says:

    Staying open minded is a good thing. You could find something that’s perfect for you that you’d never even considered. However, once you’ve pursued one major long enough it hurts to change it. The new requirements for the new major may be totally untouched by you at this point and result in you spending more time and money on it. Unless you’re serious about your major, what’s to stop you from changing to a new one again?

  13. Kimberly says:

    There is nothing wrong being opened minded and jumping around in different majors or remaining undecided. When you go into college you are not exactly sure what you want to major in even if you do choose a major it might not be something they want to get into or find out that they don’t have what it takes to major in whatever. If you can’t change majors and are stuck with the one you choose then you won’t be able to excel in your career or enjoy it because this wasn’t want you wanted to do.

  14. Samantha says:

    It’s good to keep an open mind because you want to have a career that you love, but if you change majors a lot there are consequences. Evertime you change majors you have to take additional classes, and at some colleges, once you complete so many hours, you start to get charged out of state tuition. I suggest researching any and all careers that you might be interested in before deciding on one.

  15. Jeanna says:

    It can definitely hurt you financially! Even if you only take your general classes while your figuring it out, it’s a risk. What if you never finish your degree? Money seriously wasted. I guess, you can do what you want if your the one putting out the cash, but most people just get loans, and it’s SO pointless to start your adult life with all that debt. There must be other ways to “find our passion” that we aren’t considering.

  16. Cheryl Johnson says:

    It is the rare human who knows their heart and passion at 18…or even 21! For most of us, it takes a few elcetives to determine what stirs us…and what does not. Being open minded is a good thing. Being fickle and wishy-washy is not. Go in to every class with the idea that this may or may not be your future…you will figure it out fairly soon. But forget those blow off classes like backpacking or wheel throwing…they waste your money without providing direction.

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