I came into my first year in college determined, hopeful, optimistic, and well… naive. I entered confidently with a set major and this seemingly stable aspect of my first step into college allowed me to walk around campus with an eager spring in my steps.
Coming in as a Neuroscience major, I had a good idea of what my year would look like, what classes I would be taking and what clubs I would be joining. Like many, I entered class excited and eager to do well, yet intimidated by the sheer number of students in a lecture hall, all exuberating confidence and pride.
First quarter marked the struggles of transition. Gradually, I used this to justify my increasing puzzling thoughts. And soon enough, that "spring in my step" became a tranced walk to class. I was plagued with doubts and thoughts like, "What am I doing here?", "What am I supposed to do now that I'm here?", and "Is this what I want to do?"
Naturally, classes became more difficult and fast paced. This is a challenge that all students face and many embrace it. Second quarter approached, and I was at my lowest in terms of my academic confidence and certainty. My required Life Science prerequisite classes became hours of torture where I found myself strenously forcing myself to complete the class's work and read the material.
No doubt, classes are hard for everybody and take great discipline, but this kind of struggle for a subject that I thought I was interested in seemed unnaturally grueling.
Halfway through the second quarter, I began researching majors. I've always enjoyed writing, reading, and journaling. However, many people back home always reminded me about the stability and greater amounts of job offerings with a Bachelor of Science degree. Having parents who both work in the STEM field also rendered hesitation in deciding to change my major and approach them with this news.
So for those of you thinking about changing your major, or who have recently changed majors, here are some tips on how to bounce back and stay motivated.
Do extensive research on majors offered at your school, classes you would need to take for each interested major. Get a general idea of your four year plan for each interested major. Even if it's a major you would have never considered before, it won't hurt to read more about it, and it might just be the perfect major for you. Keep an open mind when researching.
2. ASK FOR HELP
Don't be afraid to reach out to counselors, teachers (past or present), friends who've gone through college or are going through college, relatives, and even your parents or guardians. There are many people around you who would love to help you figure out what you are passionate about or interested in. Many also have experienced unsureness in academic and career plans. Ask people you trust and who support you. Ask about their experiences, what they've learned from their uncertainties and struggling through that. Maybe if they are studying or working in the field you are researching, you can ask them more about what it's like studying that particular subject and working in the field.
3. EMBRACE IT
Once you've decided on a new major, don't hesitate to create a new four year plan. But remember, don't feel like you have to stick to it. Expect setbacks, new discoveries, and be open to change. Be excited, you've just discovered a new passion!
Oh, I just realized I forgot to tell you. Well I am now a pre-communications major, looking to apply into the major in the Fall. Yes, I've done a complete 180 in my academic plans, but I'm far happier reading about things like literature and the art of language than when I was reading about meiosis and topoisomerase, just to name a few. Trust me, I haven't figured everything out yet, but I'm happy to say the spring is back in my steps.