How to Know It’s Time to Change Majors
The urge to change majors comes upon most college students at certain points in their educational journeys. It’s understandable. As the coursework becomes more rigorous, the passion you had that initially drove you down that path begins to dull. You can no longer make decisions based on your feelings. You have to roll up your sleeves and do the work.
It can be tempting in these moments of reality to look for greener pastures. But resist the temptation, at least until you’re sure the initial major was a mistake. The reason we’re imploring you to do this: because the major you switch to will eventually test your limits and quitting once makes it too easy to quit again.
In the following article, we’ve put together some surefire signs that it’s time to make the switch. We recommend not making a decision until you can point to at least three of these as being applicable. Let’s begin.
1. Class Time Bores You
You go into class and find yourself zoning out through over half of it. The moments that grab your attention have become few and far between. All you can think about is what you are going to do after class. It’s in these moments you can catch yourself procrastinating more and more.
Everyone feels this way once and a while. But if you find yourself in this state frequently, it’s time to look at the other indicators (see below).
2. The Early Classes Are Hard Enough
It’s a shameful moment in yours truly’s life, but that introduction to accounting summer class from 1990-something kicked enough butt that it was apparent the situation would not be getting any better. The classes you take early in the major should provide an opportunity to pad your GPA for the more challenging work ahead.
If you’re trying really hard and only pulling down Cs and Ds, then it’s time to recalibrate. While we would like to believe that anyone can do anything if they just set their mind to it, the truth is that our DNA programs us with certain talents and weaknesses. The sooner you realize that and play to your strengths, the more likely you’ll find success.
3. You Are Doing It for Your Parents
Parents can sometimes be a little too pushy with their dreams and ambitions as it pertains to you. That’s why you see so many horrific audience behaviors at youth sports events. Dad or Mom are trying to hold onto whatever past glories they had (or that eluded them). They see redemption in the lives of their children, and they end up trying to live their children’s lives for them.
College is your chance to break that cycle. But you’re not going to do it by choosing a major that Mom or Dad wants you to do if your heart isn’t in it. Sure, you might find monetary success doing it, but it will only breed resentment and lead to midlife crises down the road.
4. Something Is Pulling You in Another Direction
When a new major “announces” itself and won’t leave you alone, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and listen to that intuition. Learning that activates nagging curiosity is worth paying attention to. So do it!
Start by taking an introductory course or two while progressing in your requirements. If you’re certain that it’s worth pursuing, then throw in all your chips. Just make sure you’re not the type of person who gives up easy, or it’s a pattern you could end up repeating dozen-or-so times.
5. The Major Is on the Verge of Extinction
Everyone should have the right to pursue whatever major or line of study that they believe will help them find happiness. But they also need a hard dose of reality before selecting something that lacks demand. In other words, they should know to go in that they’re not going to be finding gainful employment, regardless of how far they make it in their education.
A better course of action is to pursue a career with good pay and good prospects. Then, you can use your free time — and, more importantly, your resources — to basket-weave or write poetry and find an audience for it.
6. Your University Has Eliminated It
As an extension of No. 5, there are many universities targeting majors like those mentioned above and eliminating them from their course offerings. If you’ve heard rumors that your major will be on the chopping block, then consider that the proverbial “writing on the wall.”
It wouldn’t be in the discussion for removal if there was a lot of demand (from students or employers). If that’s the case, don’t sweat it. We all have our “things” that give us fulfillment and may not necessarily be marketable. That doesn’t make them bad things if they give you a sense of peace and fulfillment. It just makes them poor courses for academic study at the university level.
You can still find wise teachers online or locally who are willing to take the time to teach you what they know. You might even be able to parlay that skill set into a part- or full-time business. Just don’t use student loans to try and hammer the square peg into the round hole.
7. Your Network Leans Elsewhere
Your personal network of friends and colleagues are your best ticket to gainful employment and a high salary. Don’t resist them. They’re in your network for a reason. Likely because they share personality traits or soft skills or academic/professional knowledge. By nurturing those relationships through your personal job selection and pursuits, you can grow your career from entry-level to the highest levels.
The Decisions to Change Majors Should Not Be Taken Lightly
If you learn anything from this article, we’re hoping it’s this: you should not change majors on a whim. Ever. It costs too much money to attend college — money you usually have to borrow (or eventually will have to borrow if you’re going the Ph.D. route). Investigate. Weigh the pros and cons. And make sure you’re not jumping from one bad decision to another.
Now it’s your turn, readers. Did you change majors? How did you know it was time? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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