It is pretty unheard of to come across a person who went into college and came out with the same major. How many people did you hear your freshman year saying they are pre-med? How many of those people still are?
Studies show that 50-75 percent of undergraduate students change their majors at least once, and the majority change at least three times.
From my personal experience, I went throughout high school and into college certain that I was going to be a doctor. Going into my first year at UW, I had all intentions of going into neuroscience, it was what I loved to learn about. However, the reality of college hit and I knew I did not want to be studying and testing for the following 12 years.
This led me to change my major to rehabilitation psychology with an intended physical therapy track, I thought it was a reasonable choice that would get me out of my previous major. Nonetheless, I started having regrets only a couple of months in--I knew, deep down, that this was not the career intention for me. So, here I am, in the process of changing my major again.
Switching majors is an intimidating process. Questions arise such as, "What if it's too late?" or "What if I will regret it?", not to mention the fear of what your friends and family will think.
That is why, in this article, I will disclose certain signs (that I experienced) that point to the direction of changing your major, and what to do about it.
You start questioning your intended major
One of the telltale signs that it may be time to switch is when you start questioning it. Yes, curiosity is a part of human nature, but whenever you start to wonder if it is the wrong choice, it may be your gut telling you something is not right.
You chose it for the wrong reason(s)
Many students get too caught up in the financial aspect of college and fail to ask themselves other questions. Will this major support your other goals in life? Is it flexible? How many years of school does it take? Will you be able to find a job with your degree? Will you be happy?
Yes, money should be taken into consideration, especially with the cost of tuition. However, that does not trump every other factor that plays a role.
Make a list of what you want in life, it could be things such as wanting to start life earlier, a job with stable hours, etc. From there, choosing a career should encompass most of those wants.
You are researching other majors
Maybe you find yourself browsing websites and taking quizzes to see what major fits you. Although this is not a bad thing (you should keep your options open), it can point to you being unhappy in the current study you are in.
You dislike the major-required classes
If you find yourself looking at the list of classes you need to take and dread them, it is a bad sign. I mean, I am not saying you should be looking forward to O-Chem or Calc 2, but if the majority of the classes seem unpleasant, you may not put in all your effort. If you lack passion for it, your grades will more than likely lack as well.
You are envious of others
If you become jealous of your friends' passions for their majors, you are probably wishing that you had the same excitement. Passion for one's studies is vital in doing well.
You cannot see yourself doing it anymore
Maybe you once thought that you were destined to go into that career, and after time it went into the opposite direction. Every time it is time to go back to school or when someone brings up majors, you get scared.
You found something you are more into
After researching or talking to a friend, you could have found something that sounds more enticing. You start to wish that maybe you went in that direction instead.
You are not happy
Out of anything, your happiness is most important. College is already stressful. You may be homesick, overwhelmed, broke, or all of the above (let's be honest here). If what you are studying is not making you happy, it is time to switch majors.
When you find yourself ready to switch majors or career paths, make sure it is not an impulsive decision. However, timing is pretty essential to graduating on time.
Even if you have to graduate later, it is not the end of the world. As long as you are doing what makes you happy, that is all that should matter. You should not have to worry about what anyone else thinks as long as your decision is reasonable and planned out.
Realize that in this process, you are not alone! Many other students are going through the same thing, it is one of the faults of contemporary education, however, that is for my next article.