College majors aren’t set in stone, which is beneficial to many students. It’s beneficial because interests change, people grow and a major that fit your freshman self may not fit your junior or senior self. Changing your major, however, isn’t just a matter of personal growth. There may be several signs that you should consider a new major. For example:
- It was chosen by someone else
- You’re failing your courses
- It was chosen for the wrong reasons
- You find the courses boring
If these sound familiar, it may be time to considering switching your major.
Someone Else Chose Your Major
It’s not uncommon for parents to choose their children’s majors or for young people to choose their majors based on the former or current majors, careers or likes of others. Some people even base their choice on the degree programs chosen by their siblings. This type of behaviour essentially takes away your right to choose and makes it difficult for you to understand or discern your likes and preferences from those of others. Allowing others to choose your major is also one of the top reasons for unhappiness in a degree program. It can also be a contributing factor when students don’t do well in school.
Finding your courses difficult and failing could be a sign that your degree program just isn’t right for you. Failing is also the number one reason to change your major. Trying to succeed in a field of study that poses great difficulty could lead to academic suspension or ruin before you’re able to change it. Putting in the maximum effort won’t work when most of the concepts are simply going over your head. This doesn’t mean that you’re unintelligent, it means that your major probably isn’t right for your unique skills, personality and ways of learning. Even though no field of study will truly be easy, it will be easier to find success in one that suits you.
Major was Chosen for the Wrong Reasons
Choosing your major for the wrong reasons can be arbitrary and unique to everyone, but there are some reasons why you shouldn’t choose a major. For example:
- Choosing a major because the jobs in that field pay high salaries
- Believing a program is easy
- Joining a program because your friends have chosen the same major
- Basing your choice on the opinions of others, e.g. your parents or former instructors
- Making a snap decision or feeling like you have no other choice
- Succumbing to pressure
If your choice in a major isn’t organic or for the right reasons, you may eventually become unhappy and want to change it. However, this can be prevented by choosing a major for the right reasons. Some of the right reasons include: 1) It fits your interests 2) You’ve taken and enjoyed previous courses in that field of study 3) It matches your skills and/or personality. Just remember that it’s the most important decision you will make in university, as it can decide the trajectory of your academic and future career. Of course, university is full of other important decisions that can affect your student life, such as choosing student housing.
You Find the Courses Boring
It’s not uncommon for students to find some of their prerequisite courses boring, because these courses aren’t always directly related to your degree program. On the other hand, being bored by many of the courses in your program could be a cause for concern. Boredom could also lead to procrastination, the desire to skip class, unhappiness with school in general and academic failure. Although, not always apparent, this is a major sign that your field of study doesn’t fit your interests and isn’t right for you. So, if you’re disinterested in your studies and bored by your classes, check out some different classes and majors.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to change your major, now’s the time to start exploring your options. Book an appointment with an academic advisor as soon as you can.