You Declared a Major But Realize You Hate It - Now What?


Are you finding yourself wondering whether or not you might have declared the wrong college major? Check out this blog post for four suggestions on what you should do next.

Oops, I Hate My Major!

The decision of what to major in during college is a difficult and important one. Realizing that you might have made a mistake is a challenge, but it's not one without a solution. If you find yourself thinking that you might not like your major after all, don't worry. Here are the steps we suggest you take to remedy the situation.

Reflect Upon Your Feelings

Before you take any kind of action about your college major, do some thinking about how you feel. Do you truly hate your major and want to change it - or are you just frustrated with a particular professor, assignment, exam or even an entire course? Consider your original reasoning for choosing your major. What has changed to make you feel differently?

It's worth noting that many popular majors, such as biology, often require students to take excessively challenging courses early on in order to ''weed out'' or identify students who are not up to doing the work. If this is the case in your situation, know that you are not alone in what you are experiencing and that your course load might get easier. Either way, we recommend making an appointment with your advisor and seeking a second opinion. These are professionals whose job it is to be knowledgeable about their departments and help you determine whether or not your major is a good fit for you after all.

A college student talking to her advisor about changing majors

Figure Out a New Destination

If you do come to realize that the major you originally declared isn't going to be the right fit for you moving forward, it's time to choose something else to major in. You'll want to do this sooner rather than later, ideally before it's time to register for classes for your next semester or quarter.

This step requires some more soul-searching. Think about the classes that you've taken so far in your academic career. Did any of them stand out as particularly enjoyable? If so, you might want to talk to professors and/or advisors from those departments and ask any questions you have; this can help you decide whether you might want to switch to that major.

Also, take a look through the department's course catalogue - are these courses you would like to take? In addition, don't forget to think about the types of jobs and salaries that would be available to you if you chose a different major.

A college student taking a course in their new major

Make the Switch - Quickly!

Once you've decided on your new major, don't delay when taking the necessary steps. Look up your school's policies and determine exactly what steps you need to take, then take them as soon as possible, especially if you're in your second, third, or fourth year of college. The reason this is so important is that taking too many courses in a major that you aren't planning to stick with can increase the cost of college by causing you to stick around for an extra year or two. Be mindful of which courses will be relevant to your new major and which prerequisites you have, or have not, already fulfilled - a fact that might even affect your decision of which new major to choose.

A college student enjoys learning about her new major

Hit the Ground Running

Once you've changed majors, get to work! Take the courses you need, get to know your new professors, and familiarize yourself as best as you can with the new department. Do what you need to get up to speed, like taking summer or online courses as needed. Hopefully, you'll feel much more excited and energized by your new major and be able to make the most out of your fresh start. Good luck!

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By Daisy Rogozinsky
October 2018
college college majors

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