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Choosing Your Major: Not As Straightforward as One Might Think

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lafayette chapter.

Choosing one’s major can sometimes seem like a life or death decision. You have to check the

box on all your college applications and enroll in school with a certain curriculum in mind. You also have answer tons of questions about what you want to do with your life and how your major is related to that. Sometimes, you may not know what you want to major in or will change your mind time and time again once you get to college, which is okay! The important thing to realize is that whatever your major is, there is always a reason why you chose it and that reason speaks a lot to your character and interests. I asked some students at Lafayette College why they chose their major, and these are the answers I received:  

“Bye bye Bio”,  Jamie Taber ‘19

“I came into college thinking I was going to double major in psych and bio- I loved bio in high school, and psych seemed interesting to me. I took intro to both bio and psych my first semester, and quickly realized that my plans were going to change drastically; I absolutely hated bio. To this day, intro to bio lab was probably my least favorite class I’ve ever taken. Psych, on the other hand, was incredibly interesting to me, especially the psychopathology unit. That first class is what made me realize I wanted to be a therapist; I wanted to use my own experiences along with the science of psychology to help people. In addition to the two intro classes, my FYS also had an impact. I took masculinities and fell in love with it; talking about gender and sexuality in this way intrigued me (especially with my recent discovery of my bisexuality and immediate involvement with Quest), and soon I was doing a dual degree. In the Spring – assuming nothing goes horribly wrong – I will be graduating with a B.S. in psych and a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, and I’m currently applying to clinical psych PhD programs. In grad school, I hope to do research on mood disorders, the topic that first interested me in intro psych my freshman year.”


“An Unlikely Combination”, Jennifer Giovanniello ‘20

“I came onto campus very undecided, with four different majors in mind. During my first year, I made a point to take a class in each of these areas in order to better determine whether it was a topic that I enjoyed learning about in an academic setting. These were mostly introductory classes (with the exception of a 200 level English class), but all of them gave a general survey of the primary subtopics within the major. This helped me better understand what each discipline had to offer, beyond just judging the course based on the professor’s style of teaching. After my first year, I learned that of the four classes, I enjoyed the material my English and environmental studies classes the most. Those classes had also given me a better sense of what specific topics I wanted to study further (like food systems and Romantic-era poetry), and when I looked at the course descriptions for each of these departments, I found myself writing down almost too many courses that I was interested in. I took that as a strong sign that English and environmental studies would be the best for me, and I was right– I absolutely love my majors.”


“Taking Matters into My Own Hands”, Nichole Morley ‘21

“I’m making my own major because Lafayette has all the courses I want to take, but they don’t have a major that ties them all together. I came in a biology major because I’m passionate about the way all life functions. It’s infinitely interesting and much of how bodies function, especially genetically, is still mysterious to us. However, I never wanted to be pre-med. I don’t want to work in a people-filled environment because we’re not a straightforward species. However, I didn’t want to be pre-vet either. I’d prefer not to cut open living things if I can avoid that. I decided on animal science because I’ve worked at farms and zoos before. I love that type of environment with animals, nature, and people because it balances all three. There’s a wealth of education in the natural work beyond textbook learning and I really love it.”


As seen above, people choose their majors for many different reasons, and if Lafayette didn’t have what they were interested in, they could even petition to design a major. Personally, I am an English major. I chose this because of my intense love for literature and the fact that an English major is widely useful in a variety of different fields. I’m also a Women’s and Gender Studies minor because I like to study how gender and sexuality influence our world and our experiences within it. Whatever your major is, it’s important that it is something you truly enjoy to study and can see yourself doing with your life, but it is by no means the end all be all. Your major is only one fraction of your entire college career and life. If you are passionate about something, you will find a way to make it happen no matter what your major is!


Makaela Finley

Lafayette '21

English & Psychology Double Major, Women's and Gender Studies Minor | 20 | Texan, born and raised
Krystyna Keller

Lafayette '21

Creating things since '98 Campus Correspondent for HC Lafayette