Sophomores: Should I Switch My Major?

If you’re a first semester sophomore, you might be in that weird place between liking the major you originally planned on studying and wondering if there’s another major you might like better. With class registration for the Spring 2019 semester coming up fast (beginning October 29!), it’s time to start taking this decision seriously--after all, you declare a major in the spring! It’s certainly not an easy choice, but these questions are designed to get you thinking a bit more critically about your major. 

Is it stressing you out all the time? Or just right now?

This is an important distinction to make. With fall break, midterms, date parties, and everything else in between happening this time of year, it’s easy to place the blame on your major. In some cases, this is okay. Your major might actually be directly causing unhealthy levels of stress, in which case a change might be important for your mental health (self! care!). But also keep in mind that lots of people are stressed right now, regardless of their majors, simply because it’s a super busy time in the semester. All majors require a lot of work, and at times can be stressful, so just be sure to evaluate if your stress is immediate or more long term.

 

Is your current major helping you reach a future goal?

For some careers, having a specific major is more critical than others. If you have a specific career you’re aiming for, make sure you know what’s expected of your college education, and if that includes a certain major. On the other hand, if you’re not exactly sure what you want to do in your professional life, think about jobs you might consider having, or the type of work atmosphere you’re looking for. Are the skills required in these jobs skills you’re developing within your major?

 

Grades, homework, and tests aside, are you interested in the subject?

Think of it this way: in your free time, do you spend time thinking about the subject? If you’re thinking about it outside of class, it probably means you care about the topic to some degree. Regardless of whether you like the class/professor, the subject is something you’re passionate, and therefore, might be worth pursuing.

 

Will you graduate on time if you switch?

Although for some, the traditional four year timeline may be less important, if it is something you care about, make sure switching your major is feasible. This might require checking in with your academic advisor, or even reaching out to a professor or department head for a major you’re interested in checking out. Often times, your first year advisor is connected to your foundation seminar class, but doesn’t necessarily have a grasp on the major you’re trying to pursue. For this reason, reaching out to other advisors is highly encouraged.

 

Have you done your research?

Have you talked to upperclassman in your current major? Upperclassman in the major you’re considering switching to? These are the people with firsthand experience with these majors at Bucknell, and will likely give you a more relatable response than a professor. 

With all of that in mind, trust your gut, prioritize your personal happiness, and have confidence that no matter what you decide, you will end up where you want to be if you work hard. And keep in mind that your major is not an end-all-be-all-decision! Plenty of successful people had majors that are completely unrelated to their current jobs. Lots of them also had no clue what they were doing either. So don’t stress.

Her Campus wishes you the best of luck!