Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Change Your Major

There I was, an excited little business student in my first week of university. Nothing could get me down. I walked into my first Commerce 100 lecture, ready to get excited about my next four years in pursuit of a Bachelor of Commerce. Eighty minutes later, I walked out of the lecture hall and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to cry, throw up, or both.



Going to university never really felt like a choice to me. I didn’t go because I had some deep, burning desire to be a doctor or an astronaut or a computer scientist. It’s not that my parents forced me to go, it just seemed like the next logical step after high school. Both my parents had gone to university and my sister was halfway through her degree at UVic, so all there was left to do was to choose a program. There are so many programs to choose from, and most have little to do with classes that you take in high school, so it all felt a little overwhelming. I went to information sessions, talked to my teachers and parents, and chatted with some friends already in University and then I made my pick: The BCom program at UVic. When I found out I had been accepted I was excited; I had friends in the program and all three of us were ready to take on the world. Now cut to second year and all three of us are in different things, and some of us are even at different schools!



University is different than high school, and, for a lot of people, that’s kind of the point. Going to university is a very different kind of education, and it is totally okay to take some time to figure it all out. Trust me, you aren’t alone. Did you know that 20-50 percent of students go into post-secondary undecided? And around 75 percent of students will change their major at least once. Most people are still teenagers when they start their first year at University, and even though it feels like everyone is telling you that you have to have the rest of your life planned out when you’re 17, you really don’t. There’s no use struggling through four years of classes that don’t interest and excite you, especially since it doesn’t just end with university. If you get co-ops in your field, they will be based around your education. When you graduate and start looking for jobs, chances are you will be looking for a career that requires the education you do  have. If there is one thing you need to think about if you are unsure of your program it’s this: do you really want to pursue something that you aren’t passionate/interested/excited about?



So now I’m a second year student in social sciences, awaiting my declaration approval for the Political Science Major Program. I decided to pursue my minor, Human Dimensions of Climate Change, after trying to get into six different courses to replace the Com 100 course I had dropped and that was the only one available. When I spent time travelling last summer I decided that I finally wanted to get serious about learning a language, and now I am pursuing a Certificate in French Language and Cultural Proficiency. You never know how, when, or why you are going to find out what excites you. The most important thing to do is to keep an open mind, take some time in your first years to explore the amazingly diverse learning opportunities available to you, both on and off campus. You’ll be surprised what the world has to offer. Even if you’re just a little bit curious, talk to an academic advisor, check out some clubs or classes that sound cool, and try out something new. Remember, it’s totally okay to feel a little lost, because everyone else feels that way too.