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Why It’s Okay To Be Undecided About Your Major

Attending a liberal arts college means endless opportunities to explore different subject fields and to broaden our academic horizons. If I had set my mind on the subjects I loved most in high school, I would have wasted my entire college career in the wrong academic fields. Instead, I listened to that tiny voice inside my head that told me that I do indeed love certain subjects, but my heart is not set on them. And so, I began my college career “undecided.” People will ask you again and again and again what you are studying, why you are here, what you want to be. Those questions never stop. They never will. Sometimes they are annoying, sometimes they plant a small seed of doubt inside of us, questioning our decision to be undecided. But at the end of each day, it is not about what they think or say or tell you you should do. It’s about you.

Some people seem to have known since before they could talk what it is they want to study, what they want to become and just exactly how they believe they are going to get there. But if you are not one of these people, and if you arrive on the first day of your first year of college with not a clue about what you want to study, what you want to learn about for the rest of your life through your career, that is okay! This is why it is okay to be undecided about your major.

You will change a lot in college - you will become more independent, more responsible, more reliable and more overwhelmed. You will not leave campus the same person you came, and that change might strongly correlate to your decisions about your academics.

You will be inspired - you will have professors and coaches and teammates and friends who inspire you. People who know what they want and are striving for nothing less than their highest aspirations, and they can tell you every step they plan to take along the way. When you’re feeling lost or confused or doubtful, look to them!

You will realize that you don’t always know yourself as well as you think you do - you will take courses you never thought you would have...and like them. And you will take courses you thought you would absolutely love...and hate them. Embrace that and learn from it.

You won’t limit yourself - being undecided means your options are open. Accepting the reality that you are unsure, waiting until you feel more confidently about anything before you choose to commit is empowering, and you will broaden your horizons in the process.

You will find what you are passionate about - remember when you were a little kid and your mom or dad or grandpa watched you fail at the simplest tasks without saying a word, because they knew you were learning through the process of trial and error? Being undecided about your major is kind of like that. And through that process you will learn what you are passionate about, what you dislike, and how to approach your future with confidence.

(Photos: Admit See, Odyssey)

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