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Switching Gears

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So, I just changed my major.

Changing your major in college can seem like a big scary thing. Thoughts questioning your commitment, stability, and future will undoubtedly keep you up at night. You might be behind in classes and some might not transfer over. You might realize you need to stay another semester. Financial issues, class schedules, and outside criticism might keep you from being the best that you can be. Though it may feel like an impossible feat, there are a few steps you can take to simplify the process and help ultimately make the best decision for your future.

According to The Mentor, up to 50 percent of students enter college as undecided, and up to 75 percent end up changing their major. This statistic shocked me but made me feel more normal when I decided to change mine, too. Honestly, how are you supposed to know what you like to do before you get the chance to do it? People can grow and change drastically after even a year in college. If you’re thinking about changing your major…

Do your research. What kind of field are you looking to go into and why? What kind of job opportunities will be waiting for you after graduation? How far behind will you be in your new program? Look at the facts and get as much information as you can. Solid research will help you work through your conflict as logically as possible.

Do your feelings research. What is making you uncomfortable about your current major? What is pulling you toward your new one? Do you think you’ll be happier once you switch? Analyze what internal and external factors could be affecting your decision. Sometimes, a certain field “just doesn’t feel right.” And that’s okay!

Picture your end goal. If you picture yourself working in a hospital, that can help narrow down your options. If you picture yourself with a big family and working from home, that can help eliminate the hospital. Working backward from your end goal can help you visualize where you want to be and which steps to take to work towards that goal.

Relax. College is an exciting time for exploration and discovery. This is the time when you are deciding who you want to be. No two college experiences are alike, and you are on your own path. Ultimately, the decision is yours, and you need to do what is best for you.

Nothing can compare to the comfort and relief I felt when I switched my major. It took a long time to finally sign the paperwork, but I’m so grateful for the support I received and the confidence I had to change my course to better fit the vision I have for my future. If you’ve been contemplating your current major, don’t be afraid to reevaluate– your future self will thank you!
References: https://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/06/disconnect-choosing-major/

Graphic Created by Katelyn Bartels

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