Switching My Major Helped Me Find Myself

For many, university can make you question who you are and what you stand for. This, in addition to being in your 20s, can add even more confusion to the mix. As university students, we are expected to know who we are, what career we want and have a 5-10 year plan, all while getting good grades, working a part-time job and, of course, maintaining a social life. These expectations are put in place to teach us responsibility and discipline in order to make us the adults that organizations and employers believe we should be. However, I’ve found there is a huge difference between being the adult I should be and the adult I want to be.

Halfway through my first year of university, I decided to switch my major. It wasn’t because I was unsatisfied with the program I was in, but I changed my mind about what kind of career I want to pursue. I knew if I changed programs it would get me closer to where I want to be. Although, I was flooded with thoughts like, “What if I don’t like my new program?” and “What if I can’t handle the new workload?”

In response to these thoughts, I booked an appointment with academic advising. They informed me of what courses I needed to drop and which ones I should enroll in. At that point, the final decision was up to me. After applying to switch programs, most people reacted well. There were of course some skeptics who wondered why I would change my career path. They also questioned how I could know this new program would be right for me. At these times, I had to remember I was making this decision for me, not anyone else.

Now, almost a year later, I am progressing in my major and loving it. Yes, I have days where I question whether I made the right choice, but ultimately, I did what I needed to make myself happy. Changing my major is just one small example of the situations we face in post-secondary education that can cause us to question who we are.

Whether it is making or losing friends, deciding on a career, or standing up for something you believe in, finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. I know that sounds cheesy and cliché, but I have seen too many people concerned that they are “not the adult they should be” or “don’t have their life together” by the age of 25. There’s no guide book for life. The best you can do is make the decisions you need to keep yourself healthy and happy.