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4 Signs Your Major Is Or Isn’t Right For You

So you’ve begun your first year in college. You could be undeclared or heavily invested in your major, and quite comfortable in it too. If you’re like the majority, you’re the former. It’s okay to be undeclared as everybody might tell you. But exactly how do you go from there to pick a major? Many students take classes that touch base with different subjects in order to get a feel of what direction to go. That’s perfectly fine, because most students end up declaring a major before their sophomore year ends. So how do you know the major you’ve picked is good for you or is something you’re interested in? As a transfer from Biology to Computer Science, most of my peers and advisors were shocked at the change of direction I had taken by the end of my freshman year in university. Luckily, I had started seeing the signs that Biology wasn’t for me. Here are some tips that can help you decide if you chose the right major or if the one you’ve currently declared might not be right for you.

1. Do you look forward to the core classes required for that major?     

It’s important that you rate how interested you are in the classes required for your major. Do you see yourself taking more advanced classes of the subject? Do you enjoy the material at this point? If you already find yourself disinterested in Chemistry 101 and half paying attention to labs in Biology 100, then it might be more difficult when you take 200, 300 level classes of the same subject. 

2. Join a club/organization!  

If you’re not sure about the major you’ve declared, join an organization dedicated to it! It seems like obvious advice, but meeting other peers and faculty in an organization centered around your future career/major really helps you decide whether or not you want to be doing this for the rest of your life. For me, joining a club centered around future pre-med students was the best decision of my life. When I joined the organization, I got a feel for the way my peers were and how much progress they had made in cementing their career. If you don’t feel comfortable or particularly enthusiastic about the subject, just as I did, then it might be time to look for something else.

3. Don’t believe that it’s too late to change your major.   

Never assume your time to change majors has passed. If you decide even in your last year, it’s totally fine! Don’t continue with your major just because you’ve gotten this far. If by your last year you still don’t seem to like the major you’ve chosen or pick up an interest in something else, take action. I’ve had peers who changed from English in their last year to Computer Science, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They are much better off changing than sticking with something they didn’t feel good doing, and that’s what matters. 

4. Do you feel satisfaction from it?   

The number one indicator that Computer Science was the right field for me was when I started gaining satisfaction from the projects I completed. If you don’t enjoy the material you’re assigned to do, you might end up resenting what you once found enjoyable. If you look forward to completing the material or reading about it, even a little bit of interest is an indicator that you’re on the right path. Follow your hunch if you feel like you need to discover something outside of your major. Don’t be limited to your career choice, because it’s always good to follow your hunch and move outside your scope of thinking. 

These are just a few tips I collected as I transitioned from Biology to Computer Science. There’s always a point where you can combine two majors and do something in the middle if you feel like both fields are interesting to you. Just don’t believe your major is set in stone and so are your options. You have as much potential to move around and experiment with your major as you believe. 

Writer, college-goer, just here to help. (UIC)
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