According to the University of Laverne, nearly 50% of college students end up switching their majors. Clearly, narrowing down a specific area of study can be difficult for many students. Luckily, Purdue offers the option of beginning your freshman year completely undecided. They have even created a program to guide freshmen through the decision-making process! Sounds helpful, right? Not exactly. Here are four things that every Exploratory Studies Student at Purdue has thought.
1. I know what I want to do
Even though you applied as an undecided student, you come into the beginning of the semester having a solid idea of a major (or a few) that you want to pursue. Declaring a major isn’t that complicated. It’s a simple process, right?
2. What do you mean Purdue has over 200 majors?
So, you think you have your options narrowed, until you realize there’s 150 majors you never even heard of. Now, you find yourself considering 30 more different majors. Purdue offers over 200 majors, varying from industrial design, to medieval and renaissance studies, and that means thousands of opportunities. Why does Purdue have so many options? Thanks for all the majors, but we’re overwhelmed!
3. Well I narrowed my options down..again..
You go through your list of options over and over again, until you are finally able to narrow it down to a few. All those majors you thought you wanted at the beginning of the year can no longer be found, or they’re now at the bottom of the list. Where did applied meteorology and climatology come from? You’re not completely sure how things appeared onto this list of possibilities, but hey, t’s better than having no clue what’s going on.
4. I have no idea what I’m doing!
Now, you finally have a list. It’s condensed, but still a list nonetheless. However, a list, no matter how small, can still be overwhelming. You find yourself going through the pros and cons of every major. “Chemical engineers make REALLY good money”, “American studies is interesting, but what the heck can I do with this?”, “Could I stand being a pharmacist for the rest of my life?” Going back and forth between just a few majors feels more complicated than looking at a large list of 200 majors! With so many facts to dwell on and analyze, it’s so easy to get buried by the details, and you no longer know what you’re doing or what you want to do. Committing to one major feels impossible.
Despite all the headaches and uncertainty that Exploratory Studies students at Purdue go through- you will find a major that fits you. Just take a deep breath, and take each and every day one step at a time.