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Practical Matters: Double Majoring in Your Passion and a Profession

My parents weren’t into the idea of me being a struggling artist with a degree in English who earned money by playing sad songs on the oboe in subway stations, so I’m an economics major, too. Keeping up the balance between what I love and what’s a good idea in the bigger picture of me not having to live with my parents forever proved to be more challenging than I expected. Even when you think you’ve planned out your entire double-major path, it’s easy to find yourself giving all your time to one major or feeling like you’ve shortchanged your passion. Here are three tips for those of us with practical majors and non-practical aspirations.

Boredom in One Thing Can be Good for the OtherThat feeling you get when you’re on your third hour of accounting homework and you’ve forgotten your own first name can be rough. Split it up by scheduling breaks to go work on whatever creative project you’re currently on, even if it’s not an assignment you need to turn in. Treating your creative endeavors like homework will keep your creative life structured and give you incentives to get through your academic one.

Exposure to the OtherEach major has its own culture of people that you wouldn’t get to know unless you were in it. Making friends who also write, paint or perform the same stuff as you do can definitely help you grow and create a community for you to share your work with. But meeting people outside of that sphere can give you a totally different insight. When you’re in classes that you’re not crazy about, your first instinct can be to carry a mild disdain for everything associated with it, including the people who are in it and are actually enjoying it. But it’s not their fault that they understand how to use the basics of Microsoft Excel and you don’t, and now you have a whole semester to pick the brains of people with different interests than you.

How to Fit All Those Classes in Your ScheduleEven with credits from AP classes and dual enrollment, double majoring and graduating on time is a challenge. That’s why you should know your options when it comes to accommodating the classes you want to take with the classes you need to take. At UF, you have the option to earn a dual degree (two individual degrees from different colleges), a double major (two majors within the same college) or a second major (one degree from the college of your major with a second major from a different college). The most time-consuming option is the dual degree, which requires that you meet the degree requirements for both colleges, and the least intense is the second major, requiring you only to complete the major requirements for the major. See an academic advisor from the college you’re in and the college of your double major to find out how to make it work.

It’s all fun and games until you realize you don’t want to have student debt for the rest of your life and should probably prepare for the job market. If you can find your balance, double majoring lets you develop your passion while also giving you more options for when the creative writing workshops end and you have to find a job.


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