This past week I have been working with first year college students throughout the lengthy orientation process. Some new students have expressed interest in declaring a major early on, while others are just simply focused on taking classes that will peak their interests. At the college that I attend, it is encouraged for students to explore during the first 2 years and declare a major at the end of the spring semester of sophomore year. The hope is that students will take this time to really take a few classes from different departments so that they have a better feeling about what classes the enjoy and what major they think best fits them.
Coming out of high school and entering college with a major in mind is great, but it is also important to take classes outside of that intended major just in case you were to suddenly change your mind. At some colleges and universities, you start taking classes towards your major during the first semester which is great, but what happens when you suddenly decide to change majors? The problem with this is that you will have only completed courses in the major of your choice which will make declaring another major difficult since you have to start from a clean slate. If you completed courses during the exploration process, then hopefully you wouldn’t be too far behind if you have already completed entry level courses.
I came into college thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to declare a major in, but suddenly had a change in mind when I became aware of other majors that I could possibly pursue. I am glad that I took the chance to take classes outside of what I intended my major to be. I am interested in science so I know for sure that I will choose a major in that field although I am not completely sure which one I want to declare. I am thankful for the opportunities that I had to learn outside of science and math classes. It was nice to learn about art history, European history, psychology, and many other subjects that I know for sure will not be relevant in the major that I choose to pursue.
I am here to tell you, the person with an undecided major, that it is okay that you do not know what you want to study. You are in no rush to declare a major. I would encourage you to take classes that you will enjoy and classes that have always interested you so that you will find something that you are passionate about. Really take advantage of this time that you have to explore classes in many different areas before it really is time to declare a major.