6 Reasons Why Choosing A Major Shouldn’t Be Something You Stress About
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Student Life

6 Reasons Why Choosing A Major Shouldn’t Be Something You Stress About

Choosing a major can seem like a difficult decision, but it doesn't have to be.

6 Reasons Why Choosing A Major Shouldn’t Be Something You Stress About
Flickr: UBC Learning Commons

In the first two years of college, picking your major seems like a scary, stressful, life-altering decision, and you feel all this pressure to choose carefully and to choose well. But that’s not what it is. Choosing a major is not that big of a deal, though it may seem like it. Here are some reasons why:

1. Your major does not determine what you do for the rest of your life.

Your major is a decision that mainly impacts just your college education. It doesn’t really matter all that much to what you do afterward.

In fact, your major doesn’t have to be related to what you want to do after college. I know a lot of pre-med science majors but I also know a lot of people who are pre-med but are majoring in subjects completely unrelated to medicine. I also know arts and humanities majors who have gone into technology and finance. It helps if your major is related to whatever job you choose, but you could always change your mind.

A lot of college students don’t really know what they want to do after college, and that’s okay. You can try a couple of different jobs before deciding and even go to graduate school if you feel there’s something else you need to learn that you didn’t already cover.

2. Your major is only a portion of the classes you take during college.

Your major is only about a third to a half of all the classes you will take in college - sometimes even less than that. That leaves plenty of room to take loads of other classes outside of your major or even classes unrelated to your major.

And if it turns out that you don’t like your major as much as you thought you would, you can take interesting or appealing electives. Even if you get a little bored or need a break from your major, you can add different subjects to your schedule. The main point is, you aren’t only going to be studying one subject after declaring a major.

3. You can minor or concentrate in other fields.

If you find there’s another subject you like more or want a deeper understanding of, you can do a minor or concentration in that subject. Maybe you discover a new interest in your junior year or find that it is useful for you to have a background in a certain subject, you can specialize in that subject without majoring in it. This is especially useful if you’re finding it hard to choose between subjects to major in. And you can always double major.

4. Your major does not have to be the love of your life.

Your major doesn’t have to be your favorite class. It doesn’t have to be the subject you are best at. It just has to be a subject you like, and you feel you can take the required number of courses in. It’s okay if there are other subjects you like more or if over time you lose interest in your major. It’s also okay if you don’t like your major sometimes. No one loves anything 100% of the time.

5. Many people choose their majors based on convenience.

Declaring a major is not a soul-searching, life-determining choice, it’s just a practical decision in terms of your academic interests and the four years you spend in college. I know a lot of people who simply declared their major in the subject they happened to have the most credits in. Some people decide to major in their favorite subjects, some just choose the ones that will the quickest or easiest to fulfill. And that’s okay. You just need a major to graduate. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

6. You can change your mind, major, career or interests. In fact, you probably will.

People do change their majors, and it’s not too difficult of a process. So don’t worry about not getting it right, even though there isn’t really a right answer. Also, don’t worry about having your mind made up about your major or career plans – you’re only in college. We all like to think that there’s a straight trajectory from education to career.

Somewhere along the way we decide on a major which prepares us for a specific career, and we stay on that career path until we retire. But the reality is that a lot of people change their careers or try out several jobs before deciding on one. Life happens, opportunities come by chance, and people change. There are careers and positions that don’t exist yet, that we may be applying for or even filling in a couple of years. You might end up having a job you never knew existed. Life allows for flexibility, and you can’t even being to try predicting your future.

So don’t sweat it. Just declare and graduate.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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