You’re struggling in a required course, or maybe you just have a gut feeling that your current major isn’t the right fit for you. Your mind is racing, you feel torn inside on what to do next. You might feel stressed, or like you’re a failure. But know that you are not a failure and that once you find a major that fits you, you will feel a huge relief.
- Changing your major is common
Almost 80% of college students change their major at least one time. So, if you’re not changing your major, you’re actually in the minority! Picking out a major at the age of 18 is difficult. It’s very rare to know right out of high school what you want to do for a career for the rest of your life.
For me, I changed my major my second semester of junior year. I changed from marketing in the School of Business to journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Because this shift was drastic, I had many new courses to take. At first, this was so intimidating. But then I broke down each semester and saw that I only had to take 6 additional courses outside of the traditional fall and spring semesters. This decision did cost me money, but now I am working a job that I love and have zero regrets about switching my major so late in the game.
For me, my point of realization that I wanted to change my major was due to the fact that I was struggling with my business law course. I was struggling HARD. But, I was excelling in my journalism course that I just took as an English requirement. I felt bad that I was struggling with a core business class. But, then I felt a sense of relief after switching because I knew I was following a career path that I loved and felt passionate about.
- Speak to Your Advisor and Future Advisor
The first thing to do when you are rethinking your major is to speak with your current advisor. Advisors navigate changing majors all the time. It is quite literally their job.
Speak with an advisor who has experience in your new major. They will know the requirements better than your previous advisor. Every college and department has specific requirements.
When I changed my major, I actually did not speak with my past business advisor because at the time his schedule was booked. Although, I did speak to a journalism advisor. They understood what requirements I had to hit with my new major. Also, I had to go through an application process, and my new advisor assisted me with that.
- Speak to Students in Your New Major
The biggest thing that assured me of my major switch was speaking to fellow students. Switching from business to journalism was a leap. But after speaking with current journalism students who had such passion and love for their major, it assured me that it was a group of people I wanted to belong to.
Not only did I feel better emotionally, but those journalism students guided me through the application process, backup options if I faced rejection from the journalism school, and what courses I would take if I was accepted.
- Sit in On Club Meetings
If you’re considering changing your major, sit in on club meetings. See what those clubs are talking about, and if you could see yourself being a member.
A huge reason why I knew journalism was the right major for me was my involvement in a journalism club, Her Campus. Her Campus is a media site for college women written by college women. I joined Her Campus as a “fun club” but then I realized I wanted to do that fun as a career!
- Remember, You Can Majors Again
Some students change their major six times before finding their perfect fit! Just because you majored in a topic, you don’t have to work in that field of work. Many adults do not work in the topic that they majored in. Once you break into the job market, experience is the most important thing, not what you majored in.
It is normal to reconsider your major in college. It is even normal to reconsider your major multiple times. The most important thing is to be knowledgeable about your decision. Become knowledgeable by speaking with your possible new majors’ advisors, current students who study that major, and sitting in on club meetings that pertain to that major!