It's Okay to Change Your Major

You may be rethinking your choice of major in college. I recently changed my major from Film Production to Public Relations as a freshman at Hofstra University. This seemed to cause a lot of commotion among my friends and family members. But I want to tell you that it is completely normal, and actually really beneficial, to change your major.

About 80% of college undergraduates change their major at least once in their college career. And the average college student changes their major three times.

I’m going to start off with the statistics of switching majors. About 80% of college undergraduates change their major at least once in their college career. And the average college student changes their major three times. Although a lot of these numbers come from the fact that 25- 50% of students go into college undecided, that still means that tons of students do not know what they really want to do in life when they go into college. That 80% of students have no clue what they want to do as their career. That is my way of saying that you’re not alone in feeling this way.

I was super nervous when I first realized I wasn’t satisfied in my career. I love films and I always will, but I felt like I was doing nothing with my life. It felt like a waste of studying. You should never feel that way about your classes. If you enjoy your major, you will love learning in the classes. It’s scary to think that you just wasted all of those classes on your old major, but I want to tell you that it is worth it to switch your major as soon as you can. Because although it feels like you already spent all of that time on one major, the only time to fix this mistake is while you’re still in college. Luckily, I am still able to graduate on time. If you talk with one of your advisors, they will be super helpful in letting you know what path you’re on. I had a great advisor that helped me figure out how easy it would be to switch my major, what two minors I could still fit with it, and when I am able to graduate. But if it means you can no longer study abroad or no longer graduate early, it is probably still worth the change because you want to be happy in your career for the rest of your life. And the time is now to make this change for yourself.

If you still aren’t sure, then think about this. The first year of college is one of the most developmental stages for young adults. You’re living on your own, meeting completely new people, and starting to explore yourself with this new freedom. If you ask anyone at the end of their first year, most people will tell you that they are a completely different person than they were in high school. Therefore, it is completely normal to be changing your mind about a career as you change your view on life. Also, universities expect you to change your mind. That is why many schools force students to take core curriculum classes at first. These classes allow you to explore different areas of study, but also give you some time before you jump into your major-related courses.

My advice for incoming college students? Maybe think about going in undecided at first. Even if you think that there is no way you’re going to change your major, you might still want to have that wiggle room. I was dead-set on being a movie director since I was in middle school. I even made my own short films and music videos throughout high school. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t the field for me until halfway through my second semester at college. With that being said, make sure you know your school’s policies about switching majors. Some schools do not let you switch majors between departments, you would have to reapply to the specific school. Although Hofstra makes it easy to switch majors between any department you want, I was unable to switch to a marketing major since I already took so many film/ communication credits. I would have graduated late. So I chose a PR major with design and marketing minors instead since I already had the communications credits for PR. Keep this in mind when you choose what university you are committing to, and also keep this in mind when you decide on a major.

Only 30% of adults have jobs related to their major.

After all of this, I’m sure that you’re still a little nervous about switching your major. I’m so happy I switched but I still question did I made the right choice? Will I get a job in this industry? Will I make enough money? What if I want to change my mind again? But don’t worry about it, because only 30% of adults have jobs related to their major. Your major is obviously an important stepping stone in getting your first jobs, but it doesn’t determine your career. So don’t overthink it too much, because you can work hard to get wherever you want.