It’s okay to change majors

“What do you mean you’re considering changing majors?” One of my former education advisors asked me. It was a simple, although career-changing decision. Since 2018, I had been an English and education major. Ultimately, I withdrew from the teaching program because I felt that counseling was my true call. 

Now, I will be graduating with a bachelor’s in English Language Arts. While changing majors was simple for me, for others, it can cause them to feel lost or confused about where to go. However, it’s ok to change majors because students often change passions and interests over their college journey.

A confused drawing of a person wondering which path to take.
A confused drawing of a person wondering which path to take.

Finding a true calling. 

You might think when changing majors that you don’t know what to do next if life. This isn’t the case though. It’s normal to find new passions in life and dissolve older ones. Changing your major is a way to learn more about yourself and your calling. For instance, Katherine McDonald was an Expeditionary Studies major at SUNY Plattsburgh. After changing her passion from the outdoors to education, she decided to go for teaching.

After a few semesters, in early 2019 McDonald dropped out of the teaching program. 

The change in major made her views on college lifestyle different.

“I think it’s kinda because all our lives we’re asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up,’ so we are just expected to know by the time we get to college,” McDonald said.

Despite her thoughts of teaching being a promising career, she decided to go for writing. “We are all moving at our own speed in our timeline,” McDonald said.

Financial Security.

When deciding why to change majors, financial security might come into mind. Some careers pay student loans off more quickly, while others don’t.. However, the money probably wouldn’t matter as much if you were unhappy with the job. In this case, people might either spend more money on another degree or continue to be unhappy with their job. Money can’t buy happiness. 

It’s about the journey, not the finish line.

While changing majors during senior year might jeopardize one’s graduation date, college is a journey. College is supposed to be an ideal time for teens and adults to make friends and discover who they are. Tobi Hay, director of the Career Development Center at SUNY Plattsburgh, gave some advice for contemplating students. 

“Changing majors can be a great idea for some students,” Hay said. “Nearly a third of full-time college students do, actually. It is important that students are taking courses that line up with their academic strengths.”

Ultimately, when thinking about changing majors, it comes down to this: Would you rather spend an extra semester pursuing what you truly want to do, or graduate early with a career you don’t want?

Finding a spark in something new.

Lastly, it’s ok to change your major if you feel that your curiosity is dulled and you’re bored with it. You don’t have to be excited about classes every day, but they should bring at least some sort of curiosity. If you’re dreading your five different biology classes, for example, ask yourself why. Is this major or coursework really for you? If you find that your classes are mainly boring or that your interest in the subject has dwindled, then consider changing majors.

Overall, changing majors can be a difficult and worrisome process. One might ask themselves why or even if they should change majors. Nonetheless, it’s important to think of your own health as a student and what will make you happy. Finding what you’re truly happy in is just a stepping stone in the neverending path of life.

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