What to Do When You Want to Change Majors


Imagine this: you’ve just started taking courses for your major. You’re so excited to learn more about what you’re sure will be your perfect career path, until the unexpected happens: you despise all of your classes.

Whether it’s because the material is too boring, too difficult, or just not your thing, you don’t enjoy your major as much as you thought you would.

So, you have to make a decision. Do you suffer through it and continue with your chosen major, or do you start exploring other majors? Unless you want to risk being unhappy in your future career, it’s probably best to consider some other major options.

Changing a major can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to help you along as you consider changing your major.

  1. Make sure you definitely want to make the switch before you actually do it.

If you’ve just begun your major courses, you may not have gotten to the interesting material yet. Many majors require beginning classes that ease you into the major, without fully immersing you in the thick of it right away.

If you think this might apply to your situation, I encourage you to give your major another chance. Oftentimes students will barely get into their chosen majors, decide they don’t like them, and switch, only to switch back later on in their academic careers.

Making sure there’s really no hope for your major before you make the switch can save you a lot of time and money, and it can make your time in college much easier.

  1. Decide on your new major.

If you’re sure you need to change your major, spend some quality time deciding on a new one. Some students end up changing their majors three, four, and even five times during their time in college, which can be extremely stressful and frustrating.

Take a few personality tests or visit with a career advisor. Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, and take time to understand why you’re old major didn’t work for you.

You probably don’t want to change your major more than you have to, so making a wise decision when you switch is crucial.

  1. Consider the extra time it might take you to finish school.

If you change majors, especially if you’ve already completed a lot of the requirements for you old major, you are likely going to put yourself behind. Oftentimes students will have to spend one, two, or three extra years in school to compensate for lost time in an old major.

Making sure you’ll be happy with your career is vitally important; just be prepared to spend a little extra time and money if you don’t find your perfect major right away.

My overarching advice to you is this: don’t sweat it if you want to change your major. College is a time to figure out what best suits you and your interests. It’s better to figure out what you enjoy and what you don’t while you’re still in school than when you’re beginning a career.

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Holly Nelms studies Mass Communications at East Tennessee State University. She loves writing and hopes to become a journalist after graduation.

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