Choosing a major is one of the most exciting things about college. Students finally have the freedom to study what they’re interested in, as opposed to following the fixed curriculum set in high school. Some people find their perfect major right away, while others like me were plagued with indecision. Personally, I am interested in learning almost anything and could see myself in a variety of careers. So I was torn between STEM and the Humanities.
My track record goes like this – Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) to Political Science to Human Biology and Society back to Political Science to MIMG again and finally, Physiological Science.
As you can see, I eventually figured out that I wanted to pursue an education in STEM. However, I struggled in the beginning and changed my mind a lot. Most college students change their majors only one to two times, or maybe even not at all. But, if you’re in the same situation I was in, don’t worry; some of us just take a little more time than others.
The most important thing to remember is that it is totally OK to switch your major and know that many students do. Realizing that you might not like something as much as you thought you did is normal. I attend UCLA and we have over 125 different majors. There are so many options out there–subjects that you haven’t even heard of or considered, but realized you liked after being exposed to them. And even if you don’t find something you like, many universities offer Interdisciplinary majors, which is basically a way to customize your own major. It’s not the end of the world if you end up disliking your initial major.
In my opinion, there are two major reasons why you might consider switching your major: 1) you’re drawn to other subjects or 2) your grades are suffering (or not as good as you believe they could be). If you relate to this or you have another reason for switching, don’t forget to consider how much time you have left to complete major requirements.
If you’re a first year, you have plenty of time to explore other areas of studies. If you’re a third or fourth year, however, keep in mind that you’ll have to consider whether your credits from other classes could transfer or count. And when in doubt, talk to your counselors, they are always a resource! Stressing yourself out throughout the whole process will do no good. Take time to examine all your options and make the decision that’s right for you.