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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Deciding on a minor–– or whether you want to minor at all–– is no small feat. Sure, it won’t appear on your diploma, but there’s a lot of pressure to make yourself well-rounded. During my freshman year, I remember panicking over all of the options available to me. It made sense for my degree path to add another field of study, but is a minor right for you? It depends on your individual goals and if there’s even another academic area that interests you. 

Minors are great because they involve way less pressure than your average major class and because they allow you to explore your interests, even if those interests don’t necessarily relate to your target career. It gives you extra talking points in job interviews and experience to draw upon. That being said, some majors require so many involved classes that you might not be able to devote 18 credit hours to another area. While there are many benefits to a minor, it’s also not going to hurt you if you decide that it’s not worth the responsibility. 

I spent almost two years analyzing every minor that seemed even the tiniest bit interesting. I made flow charts to visualize my perfect academic experience, pro and con lists and appointments with my academic advisor. Even with all of that planning, I ended up choosing a minor because I was swept away by the lectures of my favorite professor and the implications of its field research. I chose sociology. 

The best way for me to commit to a minor was by experiencing a class that I genuinely connected with. The next semester, I signed up for another one. Then another one. At one point, I considered changing my major to sociology, but I realized that I can love something and not want to devote my life to it. My minor enhanced my interest in research, connected me to faculty mentors and introduced me to social justice causes that I’m passionate about. It was absolutely worth it for me to take a break from my typical English classes in order to immerse myself in another field. 

If you’re considering a minor, speak to your academic advisor and other students who are currently taking the classes that you’re considering. They’re your best resource for learning how your minor and major can coexist. 

College is about new experiences–– both social and academic. If you’re paying tuition anyway, you might as well take a chance on a subject that you might not otherwise get to study. Whether it ends up fitting into your big picture aspirations or not, you’ll be glad that you took advantage of every academic opportunity.

Lauren Textor is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who is studying English. She is one of UMKC's Campus Correspondents. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, painting, and sight-seeing at possibly haunted locations.