Major Uncertainty

This semester, I’ve been questioning my choice to be a professional writing major. Don’t get me wrong, I love my major; I’m just experiencing the doubts that many students have halfway through their time at college.

For a long time, I’ve had a passion for psychology. I could see myself talking to hundreds of patients every day, but I know that I would have to change every plan I’ve made for the next year and a half, and I can’t imagine doing that. Besides, I can also see myself meeting with writers and giving them advice on how to perfect their stories.

I’d be equally happy with both of the situations, which only fuels my uncertainty even more.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with changing majors. Some students get to their senior year and make a huge change, such as switching from biology to business or from psychology to education. Freshmen change their minds all the time after nding new interests in their general education classes. Some even get to college without a major in mind at all.

So what should you do if you want to change majors? Unless you’re 100 percent sure that this new major is right for you, it’s probably not the best decision, especially if you’ve been in college for a couple years already. If you like your major, as I do, and you wouldn’t graduate when you want to, you might want to rethink the costs of possibly having to stay in college an extra year or two.

If there are so many ways that changing your major can hurt you, why would anyone do it? I believe it’s because what we’re told we should be and what we truly want to be are sometimes two very different things. Growing up, I was expected to excel in English, and my parents and teachers told me I’d make a great editor. I remember having a conversation with my mom about what I should do after college, and I told her I was thinking about being a psychiatrist. She reminded me about my struggle with science and my love of reading. Yes, I have a passion for reading, writing and editing, but I also love studying human behavior. Though I’m choosing not to change my major, I believe that anyone who will regret not majoring in the eld they love should consider changing majors.

The taboo that surrounds changing majors needs to be broken so that students can feel more comfortable making their decision. Even though choosing a college major can be a life-changing decision, the negative stigma of not immediately planning out your future needs to end. College doesn’t even have to be the typical four-year experience. Students might take three, four, ve or even six years to nish their degree, and as long as they get what they want out of college, it can be worth their time.

When you go through advising, I encourage you to think about your future. Don’t just think about the next classes you need to take. Think of how you want to apply what you learn in those classes to your future career. Talk to professors in your eld of study, and nd out what opportunities your major provides. Most importantly, you should never settle for a future that you know you will hate. Choose what you love, and pour your love into it. Life here on earth isn’t in nite, so it’s best to spend your time here wisely.