The question I came to dread entering college as an undeclared major: “So, what’s your major?” People are always a little surprised and confused by my answer of "I'm undeclared." It’s not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about because isn’t deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life kind of a big decision? I can barely decide on an outfit to wear on a daily basis nonetheless what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. As an undeclared major I’ve faced the challenges and perks of it all.
Everyone wants to know what your plans are for your life. My problem is, I’ve never been the kind of person who knows exactly what I want to do or be when I grow up. Sure, I had the answers when I was a little kid, but then I grew up. I learned about the realities of potential career paths and the answer to that question became more uncertain. I’ve taken every personality quiz, "Decide Your Major" quiz and career quiz you could probably find, but all I’ve been left with is a little more confusion.
I knew how indecisive of a person I was when I was applying to colleges, so I figured going in as an undeclared major was the best path for me -- and it was. I’ve met so many people who have changed their majors from their originally declared ones. There’s pressure on seniors in high school to know exactly who you are and what you want to do for the next however many years of your life, but the truth is as humans we constantly change; personalities, desires and talents develop as time goes on. During your first year of college, you learn so much about yourself. People often declare their major only to realize eventually that they chose the wrong one and have to change it -- and as an undeclared major, this is something I didn't have to struggle with.
I’m still figuring out who I am and who I want to be, and that isn’t such a horrible thing. While not having a fixed path and idea of where I’m going is a little intimidating and anxiety-inducing, what I’ve come to realize is that no one really knows what the heck they’re doing. The people who seem the most put together and sure of what they want to do sometimes aren’t.
I’ve never been one to force myself into doing something I’m not passionate about -- and my passions and talents are all across the board. I don’t want to choose a major because I feel rushed into just choosing one, or because I think it’ll make me the most money or whatever other reason, I want to choose a major I’m passionate about learning about for the next four years or longer. Some may say, "Work is work, it's not supposed to always be fun." And I understand that, but I don't want to spend my life stuck in a career I don't love.
While I’d love for someone to just say, “Hey you’re really good at this! Do this!” and decide for me, that’s not really an option. It’s my decision. A little message to myself and other college students who may be undeclared or uncertain about their current major: it’s okay. We all figure ourselves out at a different pace. Uncertainty is most certainly normal at this stage of our lives. Utilize the advisors in your major and talk to them about your worries and thoughts. Discover what’s important to you, what drives you, what you're passionate about. There can be a lot of pressure coming from many different sides to decide. "Decide, decide, decide!" But this decision will affect you the most out of anyone, so it’s okay to take your time.