"Why I Changed Majors"

So many students go to college unsure of their career aspirations. This is okay! College is a wonderful time to explore your options and interests. You do NOT  have to have it all figured out yet. Many feel pressured to choose a major upon enrollment. However, at Loyola, you can enroll undecided. Still, many students start their college careers in one program and change their mind.

 

If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. I asked three Loyola students why they decided to change majors, and how they feel about this change.

 

Laura Martinez, second-year.

“One Thursday in the fall semester of 2017, I got up in the middle of my nursing chem lab, went to the bathroom, cried, then walked out and called my parents. It was a normal lab just like all the others but I had reached my breaking point. I hated school. If you know me you would know that isn’t like me at all. However I had gotten to the point where I dreaded waking up in the morning to go to my classes and I always had the strong urge to skip. Unfortunately, this attitude was reflected in my grades. I spent every semester in school convincing myself that nursing was what I wanted to do and that I loved science classes. Moreover, I told myself that everybody felt like this and that hating school this much was normal. The day I finally broke was the day I stopped lying to myself and realized that nursing was not for me and I needed to change. My nursing classes were simply not holding my interest. What seemed to come easily (within reason) to everyone else took a monumental effort on my part. I felt so stupid compared to my peers which was a huge blow to my self-esteem. Many people were surprised when I decided to make the change from being a nursing major to a political science and international studies double major with a French minor. In hindsight though, it’s what I should have done all along. Growing up, my family and I talked about current events and politics around the dinner table every night. To me it was like story time and I loved hearing my dad talk about what was going on in the world. I had even planned on majoring in international relations when I began my college search but abruptly decided that the medical field was for me in the second semester of my senior year. My GPA took a pretty bad hit as a result of my poor decision-making in high school, but less than a month into my new major I already know that’s going to change. Now, my classes don’t even feel like classes. I wake up in the morning excited to go to class having eagerly gone through the assigned reading the night before. I was so unhappy before and I’m only realizing it now that I’m remembering what it’s like to love learning.”

 

Jacky James, second-year.

“In high school, I took lots of AP level classes and took AP Biology senior year with the mindset that I would major in Biology in college, and go on to do research in that field. I was generally not sure about my future career plans, but during the summer after senior year, I thought about pursuing art instead. Going in to college, I was undecided, yet leaning towards a Graphic Design/Visual Communications major, since graphic designers had the highest number of jobs available post-graduation. Upon taking a visual communications class my first semester of freshman year, I realized how disinterested I was in graphic design, because it was not as related to my love for painting and drawing as I’d hoped. The great thing about being an underclassmen in college is that it was completely OK that I’d taken these art classes and learned from my experience that I didn’t want to pursue that field. I then thought about my interest in psychology, mental health, and the sciences. One of my friends, Lizzie, told me that she was a Cognitive-Behavioral Neuroscience major, and told me how she hoped to do research or become a Psychiatrist one day. I was fascinated with the major and found that Neuroscience coursework was still related to my interest in psychology, but also involved a lot of Biology and physical sciences, which I loved as well. My current major is definitely way more demanding, but I love what I’m learning and I’m excited about all of the cool new things I have yet to learn.”

 

Natalie Plys, second-year.

“I was always told that since I had good grades, I should be a doctor. When I came to LUC, I chose a Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience major and began to follow the pre-med track. It wasn’t until this year that I realized something: just because I COULD do something didn’t necessarily mean I WANTED to. Even after getting the grades, I realized I didn’t WANT to be a doctor. Dropping my major and pulling out of pre-med was honestly one of the most terrifying decisions of my life. It led to a lot of soul searching about what truly interested me. This helped me realize that my favorite classes at LUC were my Interdisciplinary Honors classes, where we read and discussed numerous literary works. This was the lightbulb moment I needed. I have always loved reading. In fact, I used to be the kid who would bring a book to recess! I also cannot deny that I am truly a theater kid at heart. This was it! These were my passions. So, I changed my major to English and picked up a Theatre minor. After making this decision, I can honestly say that I’m actually excited for what this upcoming semester has in store for me. It’s even given me the opportunity to look at new options for grad school! While I know I don’t have everything figured out yet, I am quite excited to see what this newfound journey has in store.”