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The Pros and Cons of Double Majoring

It’s a question a lot of us have asked ourselves at some point: Should I add a major? Or a minor? Neither? Both? I’ve spent a lot of time on UNCG’s Degree Works looking over my options and my sophomore year I decided to add a second major. Obviously, it has its advantages, but it also comes with a few pitfalls. Below are six pros and cons of adding a second major.

 

Con: The Extra Work This should come as no surprise. Double the majors means double the classes and more work. Some majors (like International and Global Studies) even have a capstone course you have to take in order to graduate, adding yet again more work.

Pro: More Recognition Adding a second major, no matter what your two majors are, is no easy task. Some majors are easier to double than others (International and Global Studies humbly brags that they’re one of the easiest to have as a second major, for example), but people are always going to be impressed with the extra work you’ve taken on.

Con: Graduating on Time (ish) Since you have more classes to take, it might mess up your schedule a bit, even with the best planning. I can personally attest to that. I made sure (so I thought) that I would still be able to graduate on time, even with a double major, but I’m graduating a semester late nonetheless.

Pro: More Socializing Opportunities Some majors have clubs and organizations that, while not exclusive to the major, are aimed at students taking those classes. Others don’t. As someone with two majors, your eligibility to be in more clubs and organizations increases.

Con: Busy Busy Busy This goes hand in hand with the extra work, but you have to understand that you’re going to be busy. Like, really busy. Like, you definitely aren’t going to have as much free time and might have to have only one specific day when you can hang out with your friends because of school and extracurricular obligations. I’m talking about papers, projects, regular homework and readings. All of that has to take priority. Of course, take time for yourself, but you can’t let yourself slack off too much.

Pro: More and Deeper Connections with Professors Since you have to take more classes, that means you have to take classes with more professors, and you’ll often have to take more than one class with the same professor. Use these opportunities to get to know those professors and let them get to know you. It’ll pay off in the long run when you need letters of recommendation.

 

There are times when I think I might have been better off just staying with one major, but then I think about all the opportunities and doors that have opened themselves up to me (and those that are yet to come) with my second major. It’s a lot of work, but if you think you can handle it, the new and many connections made as result will definitely be worth it.

Becca Lynch is an English/Asian Studies double major at UNCG who's passionate about cats, desserts, and bad horror movies. She's the co-founder of the International and Global Studies Student Association (and has a mug to prove it.) She also spent time abroad in Japan at Ritsumeikan University and served as language coordinator for the UNCG Japanese Club for a year. When she isn't swamped with class work, she's planning off-kilter desserts as a personal challenge. You can can reach her by chanting her name three times in a darkened mirror. She'll be with you promptly.
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