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Thinking of Changing Majors? Here Are 5 Pieces of Advice from Someone Who Is

At the end of the spring semester, I started getting the feeling that my choice of major might not be working out the best for me. I know that I am not the only one who has ever felt this way, but it felt like I was the only one going through these feelings at the time. I thought that I’d share some advice with you regarding things that really helped me feel better in my process of changing my major.

Look Into What Career Options are Available to Graduates of Your New Major

This might seem obvious, but it does really help. One of my concerns with my previous major was the job market. Outside of a few places in the States, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of lucrative opportunities for someone with my old major, and it stressed me out. I am changing my major to communications, so looking into what possible careers I could have gave me a much-needed feeling of relief.

Look Into What Courses You Would Need to Take

This is another one that seems pretty obvious, but it isn’t what I first thought of doing. Taking a look at what courses you would need to take can give you an idea of how your upcoming semesters are going to look. UH Mānoa uses a system called STAR, and I was able to use the “What If? Journey” function of the website to look into all of this. Some majors have a lot of prerequisite courses you need to take in addition to any other general graduation requirements you must complete. It definitely helped me because I was actually able to plan out my next couple of semesters. You might also discover that you have already completed some requirements your new major would have you do, or, like me, you may discover that you could graduate earlier than you planned!

Email the Department Chair of Your New Major

This is the first thing I did after looking into the career opportunities for communications majors. Emailing the department chair is a necessary step. The department chair can tell you what the steps are that you are going to need to do in order to change your major, and they may point you in the direction of someone who can help you through the process.

Get an Appointment with an Advisor from the Department of Your New Major

An advising appointment is something that I would recommend to everyone looking into a major change. The advisor can easily answer any questions you have about the transition you would be going through. They can also walk you through any and all paperwork you might have to fill out in order to get approval for a major change. The advisor can also walk you through any stipulations that the department may have for you in order to change your major, such as a required GPA or credit hours requirement.

Take a Deep Breath

A major change can be a stressful time. I had a lot of anxiety about changing my major, and I had a lot of anxiety about talking about changing my major. I really benefitted from taking a moment to just take a breath and relax a little bit. I am very lucky to have both of my parents support me through this change, and that certainly helped ease the stress on me quite a bit. But I also think that it is nice to have a reminder to just relax a bit during a stressful time.

I wish you the best of luck in your journey to change your major. You’ve got this!

Shae Walker

Hawaii '24

Shae currently studies at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. When she isn't writing or studying, Shae can be found reading tarot cards, listening to Måneskin, and studying a variety of different languages.
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