Changing majors

Photo courtesy of Ethan Vitak. A group of students work together in the CULC. Choosing your major and discovering your passions can be very difficult — do not worry if you feel unsure of your path ahead.

“Yeah, I have always wanted to do something for myself, so business is perfect for me.”

These innocuous-sounding words uttered by another freshman at North Avenue Dining Hall haunted me.

Everyone around me seemed so sure of what they wanted to study and pursue beyond their college years.

Was I the exception? I felt like the only indecisive, non-committed freshman.

As I enter my junior year, I have come to realize that I was far from alone.

While I did not end up changing my major, I did declare a minor that I never thought I would.

I have also seen many of my friends and peers change their majors over the course of my time here.

Tech’s hustle culture has driven many students to believe that every graduate is destined to be an engineer working towards prestigious internships and an eventual job.

This sentiment is especially common among freshmen who are not yet acquainted with campus norms.

If you are one of those students who are unsure about your major or other aspects of your career path, such as whether an internship or REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) is the right choice for you, worry not.

It is not unheard of for a college student to be unsure about their interests and career path in our rapidly changing world.

Typically, most college students struggle with deciding on a future path at some point or another during their college careers.

More students change majors than one would think. According to the US Department of Education, approximately a third of college students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree report changing their major at least once.

Even while being commonplace, changing majors is still seen as a sign of admitting failure to many students.

Instead, students should see it as a sign of renewal and refocusing.

This attitude can be applied to other aspects of your life as well.

For example, are you choosing to work an internship because you want the rewarding experience or because everyone else is doing it?

It is possible that research or entrepreneurship is a more natural calling for you.

While none of these pursuits are mutually exclusive, there is only a finite amount of time and energy available to you during your college years.

It is important to prioritize extracurricular activities that you think will benefit your future plans. Accepting the tradeoffs and thinking about your priorities will only help you make better decisions.

Finally, remember that each class, concentration, extracurricular activity or summer experience is going to be a part of your overall life experience.

It is beneficial to gather as many varied experiences as possible, but your college career is much too short to be spent worrying about the implications of major changes — literal changes in your major as well as major career changes — rather than acting on what you think is the best course of action for you.