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StoLife: If My Major Doesn’t Matter, What Does?

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

Two weekends ago, I hopped on a bus and headed to the sophomore weekend retreat, Quo Vadis. “Quo Vadis,” means “Where are you going?” and is a two day retreat hosted by the St. Olaf Piper Center. It allows sophomore Oles to step away from campus to reflect on where they have been, who they are, and where they are going. At Quo Vadis, we talked with and listened to fellow students, young alumni and faculty about vocation as a college student. 

One of the recurring themes of the weekend that really stuck with me was about choosing your major. Countless professors, alumni and professors kept emphasizing that your major does not matter. WHAT? To me, this was ultimately surprising and reassuring news. At a college where everybody has two majors and three concentrations (or so it seems), I was comforted to hear that I shouldn’t be worrying. Many people think, “If my major doesn’t matter, what does?” Here are a few tips that I took from Quo Vadis to help relieve stress and enhance your college experience.

1. Take the classes that interest you AND try new things. 

Try not to think about your classes as a way to fill requirements. Within reason, take classes to make you happy and expand your knowledge. If you have always wanted to try out a certain topic, now is the time. You will never have so many options and opportunities right in front of you, so go ahead and take that art class or chemistry lab to step out of your comfort zone and fulfill yourself rather than a G.E.

2. Experience matters.

The classes you take aren’t the only valuable part of college: experience matters, too. Whether it’s a job, an organization or an internship, a future employer will value your experiences more than the misery you felt taking six calculus classes. Communication, connections and real world experience will stay with you longer than memorized class content.

3. You don’t have to declare everything.

Just because you love Spanish, Biology, Women and Gender Studies, Education, History and Art does NOT mean you need to declare them all as majors. In the future, potential employers will look at the specific classes you took rather than what you declared in your degree audit. If you take a handful of science classes, but you really want to focus on the Spanish major, do what works for you! You do not have to double major or overwhelm yourself just because you are one or two classes away from another concentration. 

You are here to create your own educational experience. Customize it, love it and continue learning. Xoxo. 

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