Photo by Matt Ragland
With the start of the school year right around the corner, chances are you are getting ready to start your new college life. Some people have already declared a major, and some have gone in undecided. While starting college and choosing your major might seem daunting or even nerve-racking, do not fear! Choosing the right major takes time.
Committing to a subject for a professional career at the age of 18 might seem overwhelming, but I promise you are not alone in feeling that way. Many students struggle to stick with a major their first two years at college because most of the time, the classes you are taking are very different from those taken in high school.
Even though you enjoyed physics in high school, a much more intense, theoretical physics course might be much less interesting to you. It is okay to acknowledge that. Many times students feel like they have to commit to a major, or else they won’t graduate in time. This is a very common belief that couldn’t be more wrong. It is a very common occurrence to switch majors two, three, or even four times. With the help of your advisor, you will find the right major for you, even if it takes till your junior year.
With that said, how do you find the right major for you? The best way to find what you’re interested in is to treat classes like a buffet. If you see a class with a title that peaks your interest, look into it. First ask your friends if they’ve taken the class, and their thoughts about it. Contact the professor and ask if they could tell you more about the class, or possibly give you a syllabus. If you decide that the class sounds interesting, try to take it! You might end up finding the subject that you love.
I wish I could tell you that if you liked this class in high school, then choose this major, but it is really not that simple. College courses go much more in depth and are much more intense then high school classes. On top of that, each college teaches each major differently. There is no right way to guess what major you want to commit to. The only way to find what you truly love is to try everything.
I personally started off as a physics major at a school with a renowned physics course. I ended up disliking physics to the point where I refuse to take any class that involves physics. I instead switched to environmental science, and am now in love with what I do. I love the internships and jobs I get to be involved with, I love the staff in my department, and best of all, I am excited to work in the field that I study. This is all thanks to me going on a whim and taking a geology course that I ended up loving so much that I switched majors.
College is a learning experience in every aspect. My best advice to those who are starting college is to recognize sooner than later whether or not you like a major. Don’t force yourself to stick with a major you don’t enjoy. The sooner you recognize this, the more time you have to switch to a major you’ll love.
August 9, 2021