Changing Your Major: When to Switch and How to Do it Right!

Heading to college is a huge step: for most people, it’s their first time out of the house and their first time making their own decisions.

One of the biggest decisions you have to make as a college freshman is choosing your major. This is a huge step because as an 18-year-old, you may not know exactly what you want to do with your life or what you want to study.

You may not even have a general idea of what you are good at or what you like, so being asked to pick the path you will follow for the next 4 years of your life can be an overwhelming and daunting task.

So it comes as no surprise that you may have chosen the incorrect major and now you feel like you’re stuck. If you are pondering the idea of changing your major, ask yourself these questions and then plan accordingly!

Confused college student

Answer these questions honestly:

– Do you hate what you are studying?

– Do you dread going to class or picking up your textbooks more than the average student?

– Does a career in your current field of study churn your stomach?

– Does the idea of reading or learning more about your field of study fill you with dread?

– Can you picture yourself going to grad school to continue your education in this field or does that idea make you sick?

– Are you doing poorly in your classes because you cannot stand the material?

– Are you unable to keep up with other students and learn at the same pace? Is this field of study above your head?

– Are you constantly behind on assignments and unwilling to put in the time or effort?

– Are you miserable or completely unhappy? Have people mentioned this fact to you?

– Are you constantly stressed out because of any of the aforementioned reasons?

If you answered “yes” to more than one of the above, you may want to consider changing your major!

How to Switch Your Major the RIGHT Way:

Don’t just head to your guidance counselor and fill out the paperwork; do some research first so you don’t end up making the same mistake twice. The last thing you want to do is switch your major to something you hate even more!

1. Decide why you are unhappy.

You need to figure out if you hate your major of choice because of your lack of interest in it, or because you hate the work associated with it.

You may be unhappy because you really do hate your major, however, it is possible that you simply chose the wrong major within your field of interest. For instance, if you are studying business administration and hate it, you might want to switch to marketing or accounting. Your interest may still be alive, but it’s your specific major that is killing your ‘study-libido’.

2. Talk to your advisor.

If you are having serious doubts about your major, the best person to talk to would be your advisor. Tell him/her your exact concerns and he/she will not only be able to provide you with advice, but offer you options as well.

Your advisor will also be able to recommend a possible switch within your field of study (see example above) and will know who to send you to for more information.

3. Talk to an advisor or professor in the field you are thinking of switching to.

Your advisor may not be able to answer all of your questions related to the field you THINK you are really interested in. What you should do is head to the school of whatever major you are thinking of switching to and schedule an appointment with one of the advisors.

If you are a psychology major looking to switch to business, head to the school of business (or the dean, or whoever), and talk to someone who might be able to give you more information/advice.

A person in the field will not only know more about how to help you make the switch, but he/she will know more about the opportunities available to someone in the field. The advisor/dean will be able to provide you with the right documents and information for you to take home and look over as well.

4. Talk to friends in the same field of study.

If you have friends who are in the field of study that you are thinking of switching to, make some time to talk to them so you can get a feel for what they do on a regular basis, their workload, what they plan on doing with their major, and how they may help you make the transition.

Ask them for advice: looking back, what would you do differently in respect to your major? Are you totally happy with this major? If you could change anything about your field of study, what would that be?

The more informed you are on everything, the less likely you are to make another MAJOR mistake (pun intended). Get the right information, talk to the right people and decide for yourself if switching your major is the right choice for you!

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