You may come to college thinking you know what you want to do for the rest of your life. I know I did. After having to drop, or risk failing my chemistry class, I decided that my dream of being a pediatric oncologist was unrealistic for me. As much as I loved biology, I would never make it out because of chemistry. I changed from biology to social work. Then, a semester later, I found my love for psychology. Now I aspire to be a high school English teacher using my minor and my knowledge of how the brain works and how people learn and behave.
Changing your major is 1000 percent completely okay. According to The National Center for Education Statistics, about 80 percent of college students change their major at least once. It just means that you have gotten more in touch with who you are and what you like to do. There’s no rule saying that you can’t change your major or your future plans. You don’t need to come into college and graduate with the same mindset.
1. Those second thoughts will get you.
They will creep into your head and as much as you try to ignore them and tell yourself that you’ll be happy, they will win. Listen to them sooner rather than later. Your gut is trying to tell you something. If I would’ve listened to my gut telling me first semester that I should change my major to education, I would’ve wasted a lot less time in classes that I hated.
2. There are way more opportunities in college than there ever were at your high school.
The ability to get involved in so many different things on your college campus will undoubtedly spark a new interest for you. You will meet new people with different passions and connections. This may open doors for you that you never thought of. Walk through those doors because those will be the moments that will allow you to grow as a person. Those required "gen eds" may also spark an interest. I never took psych in high school, so imagine my surprise when I found out I loved it so much in college.
3. You learned something about yourself.
As a freshman, you were probably unsure of yourself, or maybe you picked your program for the wrong reasons (a.k.a. how much money you were going to make). Whatever the issue was, you are a better person now for realizing it wasn’t your calling. College is about learning and the greatest lesson is to learn something about yourself and who you are. I learned that I wanted to be more hands-on with kids and that my original future plans would have me behind a desk too much for my liking.
4. It’s about happiness.
Being a pediatric oncologist would’ve definitely allowed me to pay off my student loans faster with a bigger house, a nicer car and plenty of money. What would that matter if I wasn’t absolutely in love with what I was doing? I want to be happy getting up every morning to go to work. It’s really important to me. Doing something you don’t like? That’s when people spend more money going back to school for a new degree or they just settle and continue to be unhappy with their career choice.
5. Graduation is a journey, not a destination.
College is all about what you put into it. People say that college is the best four (or five) years of your life and they are totally right. It’s all about what you do in your college career so make the memories count and make yourself happy to graduate with a degree in a field that you will love. Even if that means you have to change your major three times.
So who cares if you end up having to spend an extra semester (or few) in school because you figured it out a little late? If you can handle it, then it will make all the difference for you to be happy in the future. College is what you make it. It’s about you. It’s about your future and finding who you are. It’s about the journey.