With the fall semester well under way, you’re all probably buried in the books already, especially since it’s midterm season. Maybe you start on assignments early or procrastinate up until the last minute (like me), either way the main focus is getting things done. But hold on, maybe it’s time to take a step back from your studies and look at the big picture. Despite all the confusion and chaos that comes with being a student, do you actually enjoy what you’re studying? This is an important question that you may not have asked yourself, I know I didn’t until a year into my undergrad degree. Switching majors can be daunting, and if you’re considering it, it’s important to make sure that it’s really the right choice for you. So we’ve come up with a few things for you to consider before taking this big leap:
Before you say yeah, “I’m done with this major” ask yourself if it’s the major you don’t like or the endless pile up of papers, assignments and quizzes. You have to realize that there’s certain monotony about being a student – from the gauntlet of exams to early morning classes and sleepless nights. No matter how you look at it these things are certainly no piece of cake but unfortunately they’re just an inevitable part of university education, regardless of your program – even if you love your major, the daily grind can still get you down. So sit down and take some time to remind yourself why you decided to pursue the program in the first place and ask yourself if you still feel the same way? While you don’t have to love the work that comes with being a student, you should still have a passion for the subject matter. I encourage you to go online to your university website and look at some courses you may be taking the future – do these sound exciting, or boring?
Even if you don’t want to devote your life to academics, you’ll have to enter the workforce sooner or later. So look down the road ahead and find out what’s in store for you with your current major – what are the options? Try to envision yourself in these jobs; do they fit your interests and personality? From my own experiences I find there are countless fields of study I find interesting, but very few I could actually work in. Not that there’s anything wrong with studying for the sake of studying, but if a career is what’s on your mine I strongly recommend you take a look at these future prospects.
Many programs at colleges and universities require students to take some kind of breadth requirement. While you may find these courses pointless, they act as a great detour and may help you discover passions you never knew existed. University is about more than just earning that piece of paper; it’s about discovering yourself! So next time you sit down to sign up for courses, go crazy – pick something you never considered and you may end up loving it. Or if you have a sudden urge to switch your major why not put it on hold for an extra semester and try out a few of the courses first before you jump in head first. Many campuses will even host events where different faculties set up shop to promote themselves to students. Attend one of these events, and find out if there are any other majors to consider.
Sometimes your friends and family actually know you better than you know yourself – and it never hurts to get a second opinion. Ask those people closest to you about which roles they think suite you best – you’d be surprised at the response. Sometimes the answer is obvious, but other times it may come as a shock. This is what helped me the most when I switched my major, I talked to countless friends and relatives and they all agreed I was making a smart choice. But friends and family act as more than just councilors, they are the main line of support you have. Switching your major isn’t something you have to go through alone; your loved ones are there to cheer you along all the way!
If you wake up in the morning and your stomach aches at the thought of going through another class in your subject area – maybe, it’s consider changing your major! Take advantage of your time at university and use it as a time for discovery. If you aren’t happy with your studies, make changes now – don’t wait around! Maybe you were lucky enough to get it right first time round or perhaps it will take you a year or two to figure out where your life path will lead, but regardless of your situation, hopefully these guidelines will give you a good starting point to realize if your current major is really for you. Don’t worry, keep searching for your passion and you’ll find it!