Change: A MAJOR Decision

Changing your major is a big decision. It is not always an easy one to make either. I am here to share with you how to get over that fear and push past the fears and worries that often surround this particular decision.

In going to college there is some underlying expectation that we all need to know exactly what we are going to do with our lives very early on. As juniors and seniors in high school we are asked to start thinking about what path we want to take, a path that will lay the foundation for our future careers. In short, at the ripe age of 17 & 18 we are asked to make a choice that has the potential to determine what direction our lives will take for the next 40-50 years, possibly even longer. That is a pretty loaded decision to put on the shoulders of someone who is just figuring out who they are. Therefore, there should be no surprise that this initial choice could turn out later on to be the wrong one.

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I know many students who have entered college dead set on being engineers, interior designers, or physical therapists and got to school just to realize they missed the mark on pin pointing where their interests lie. For me, it was a matter of following my heart to pursue my life-long passion for dance. The moment I recognized that I may have made the wrong decision was one of the scariest moments of my college career.

Initially, I tried to pretend like everything was fine. I denied the fact that my interest in my classes was fading. I did not want to admit that I may have made the wrong choice and that a new one had to be made. This was scary territory because I had absolutely no idea what I could possibly change my major to. I had convinced myself that dance was what I was meant to do so I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything beyond that. But I knew I had to make a shift so I started reaching out to advisors and career counselors that helped me reanalyze my skills and strengths and set me on a new track. Before long, I had found a new major in Business Administration and now intend on heading to law school post-graduation!

This was a really challenging process for me because part of me felt that I was letting go of something that had been a large part of who I am. What I found to be most helpful in making the transition was realizing that I was not letting part of myself go and changing who I was to step onto this new path; instead, I was simply making a new choice. I came to terms with my decisions that brought me to where I am today. I do not regret entering school as a dance major. It is not that I made the wrong choice as a senior in high school because that was the right choice at that time. As time went on, my attitude, perspective, and interests shifted which were no longer in line with being a dance major. It was not that I had to give up on what I had worked so hard for, I simply just had to regroup and head in a new direction. Being a dance major helped shape me into the individual I am today and there is no taking that away. I would even argue that being a dance major made me strong enough to make these kinds of decisions today.

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It is hard to get past the initial fear that you will be shamed or be looked at as a failure for changing your major. In these moments it is important to think to remind yourself that this is your life. You are in control of your own life and you are the one that gets to decide how you will live your life. You set your own goals and decide how you will personally reach those goals. Who cares if it is not exactly how the person next to you got there? You should be proud of yourself for being so aware of yourself to know you have to make a change and then for being strong enough to actually do it.

Image Courtesy of Center for Collaborative Health