The idea of changing your major was always so daunting to me.
“Would I graduate much later than I had anticipated?”, “Is this really what I want to get a degree in or is this just a phase?”, or “Are my parents going to kill me if I change my major to something completely different?” These are all questions that lingered my mind leading up to the days where I finally came to the decision to change my major.
During my senior year in high school, I already decided what my major would be, Biology, along with every other student in the country who decided on the pre-med life. I truly believed it would be the best choice to help me prepare for applying to Physician Assistant school.
I wasn’t entirely wrong. When I finally transferred to Florida State, the academic map created for biology majors didn’t quite fit the criteria for Physician Assistant school. I would be taking an abundance of classes I would never need, some of the pre-requisites that I needed weren’t included in this construct, and when I tried to declare English as my minor, my Biology advisor was not supportive; She tried to convince me to choose a science minor, which I understand why she did what she did, but I still wish I had the full support of my advisor on what I wanted to do. On that note, the next day I changed my major to Exercise Physiology and dropped all my classes for new ones. My new courses were more applicable and I was able to declare English as my minor, with full support from my new advisor.
Fall semester was great with the change. I really loved Florida State and everything that it had to offer me, but a part of me really wanted to double major in English. I really enjoyed the few minor classes I signed up for and I wanted to write more beyond it.
When I brought up the idea of double majoring to my advisor she shot it down for numerous of reasons. (Excess credit hours, too much on my plate, etc.) but I was persistent. She then followed up with a question that would put me through an existential crisis over the next month and a half. She simply took off her glasses, looked deeply into my soul, and suggested the worst case scenario to me: “what if you don’t get into Physician Assistant school? What would you do with this Exercise Physiology degree?” I couldn’t answer. I genuinely didn’t have an answer for her because quite frankly, I don't think I would be doing anything with it.
I never stopped thinking about what she said for a few weeks. Of course, there was always that possibility that I wouldn't get into Physician Assistant school but I never entertained the idea of it. Suddenly, with a year left of college, I felt as if the degree I was on track to graduate with didn't feel right. I needed some affirmative answer from the Universe that changing my major, again, would be the right decision.
Changing between science majors was never an issue to me. It was something I always knew and could resonate with other science majors. (Like how awful organic chemistry is, am I right?) To change from being a science major to an English major honestly terrified me. It was all I ever really knew. As much as I loved writing, I was my worst critic.
I always felt like everything I wrote sucked; I felt as if I would never be at the level of writing my peers were at if I decided to switch over now; I am constantly overdue for deadlines because I prioritize my science classes first. I really wasn't sure if this was for me. It wasn't until I spoke to an advisor from the English department who made me realize this honestly was what I wanted. She understood my thought process and understood why I felt the way I felt and reassured me that everything would be okay.
She made me realize that not everyone is going to like what I write, myself included, and that's okay; Everyone is at different levels, and even though I decided to become an English major my junior year, I wasn't behind compared to my peers; If I'd rather enjoy spending my time writing about how "Trump's Presidency Is Just One Long SNL Skit" rather than trying to figure out why this ring structure is 2-methylbicyclo[3.1.1.]heptane even though the structure doesn't look like that, then maybe that's what I should do.
Changing your major so late in your college career, or at all, shouldn't be a daunting concept. You may not be the same person you were when you first started college, you might find out you actually hate whatever it is you're trying to do, or you may just want to expierement with different options. For whatever reason it may be, you should get a degree in something you love and have the drive for, it's never too late. I can promise you, in the long run, your sanity and future self will thank you for it.