College students: have you ever woken up in the morning dreading your classes? Have you found yourself completely bored with a subject that you used to be wildly excited about? Are you coming to the slow and unfortunate realization that you hate your major?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, take comfort in the fact that you’re not the first. Then be assured that you don’t have to continue you studying a field you despise, or even worse, following that career path after you graduate.
If you feel like you hate your major, the key is to determine if you can work through that frustration, or if you really do need to switch to a new field. Here’s how.
Talk to a Professor
Ellen Bremen, a communications studies professor at Highline Community College, recommends dialoguing with a professor or someone in the field.
“The student should get really specific, as in making a list of what they are hating about their major,” Bremen recommends. “Sometimes, it’s a particular tough class that makes a student rethink the goal, which is fine, but getting through that class may make them feel differently.”
Bremen added that by talking through what’s bothering them, the listener can help the student determine if they should choose an entirely different educational or career path–or if there is an “adjacent” path that could work.
Keep Going to Class
Bremen advises college students not to drop a class unless you are completely failing.
“If that’s the case, I’d opt for academic renewal to wipe out that term,” Bremen said.
“Continue going to class and finish the classes out until you are absolutely certain that you are going to go in a different direction. Turning the major into a minor is a possibility, so the credits will be needed anyway. Also, just philosophically speaking, we learn so much more from sticking in than we do from bailing out. The answers will come… and there are plenty of people to assist a student with figuring it out along the way,” she added.
Talk to An Advisor
As Bremen said, the credits you’ve earned will still count. If you’ve decided that you really do need to change majors, go see an academic advisor as soon as possible to find out where you stand in regards to your general education requirements and the classes you were taking towards your major. You may find, for example, that you’ve got some math and science requirements that need to be filled, and you can focus on those while you plan your next move. And advisor might also be able to point you towards related majors that might be a better fit.
Brainstorm Options for New Majors
If you’re absolutely sure that engineering, French, or whatever major you were studying is definitely out, it’s time to brainstorm and decide what major is really calling to you. Maybe you already know, and if so, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with the department head as soon as possible to see what you need to do to switch.
If you’re unsure, make a list of possible majors, and then speak to instructors, students, and professionals who teach and work in that field. The more information you have about what that subject entails, the easier it will be to decide if that’s the one that’s right for you.
If you’ve tried all of the above and you still can decide what major truly interests you, you may want to speak with your advisor about taking a semester off. While it will delay your graduation date, you won’t be spending your hard-earned money on classes you don’t want to take, or that you won’t use, in the future.