Many students are familiar with that gut-wrenching panic you experience when you accept the fact that you hate the major you chose. It’s college – an important (and expensive) milestone that is supposed to set us up for the rest of our lives. So when we come to decide that we actually don’t really like what we chose, many thoughts run through our minds: I’m stuck. This is the biggest mistake of my life. I’ll never find a job I love.
It’s actually a lot more common than you may think. Think about it it – you were fresh out of high school when you were expected to choose a major that would prepare you for the type of career you want to pursue for the rest of your life. Crazy, right? As college students, we’re still discovering ourselves and our passions. We’re still experiencing new things and learning about the real world. We’re changing and evolving constantly. So give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up over it if you came to the realization that you’re not happy with your major. Instead, be proud that you learned enough about yourself to realize this now.
So what’s a student to do in this situation? We’re here to guide you.
Meet with your academic advisor.
Your advisor most definitely has assisted students in this situation before, so they’re prepared to help. Meeting with your advisor can help you weigh your options. If you want to leave your major completely, they’ll help you match your interests to a better suited major. From there, they can help you map out a plan.
Which classes do I need to take? When do I need to take them by? How many of my old credits will help me with this new major? Will I have to take summer courses? Am I going to be able to graduate on time?
Those are all things your advisor will be able to talk through with you so you won’t be left with uncertainty about your decision.
If changing your major isn’t reasonable for you, your advisor can help you find your passion in your major. They can suggest classes to take, introduce you to other career paths available to your major, or recommend minors or specializations to add to your degree.
Research career options.
Just because you majored in biology doesn’t mean you have to be a biologist. Just because you majored in journalism doesn’t mean you have to be a journalist. And just because you majored in law and justice, doesn’t mean you have to be a cop. Catch my drift?
There are so many different paths your major can take you down, some way less obvious than others. Do some research or talk to a professor. You may be surprised how many options you actually have. Once you find something that’s more appealing to you, you can then take the necessary steps to work toward that career path, such as taking different classes, adding a minor, looking for internships, or looking into graduate school.
Work on new skills.
You’re not confined to any specific job just because of your major. Work on building other skills that appeal to you on your free time. You’ll be able to take these skills and steer your career path toward something more appealing for you. So, what kind of skills are we talking? Anything, really! You can start a blog, get certifications, join clubs, or take new classes. The options are endless.
Don’t worry what others are doing.
This is important. You really don’t have to stress out about your situation, but many times we do because we’re comparing ourselves to what others are doing. It doesn’t matter if your roommate is happy with her major and already has a multitude of impressive internships on her resume. It doesn’t matter if your best friend is graduating a year before you. Worry about yourself and your own path. Everyone does things their own way and on their own time, and there is no correct way to get to your final destination. Focus on yourself and what you want, figure out a plan, and just know that you WILL get there.
Have you ever been in this situation? We want to hear from you! Tweet us or comment below. #Major