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Chronicles of Triple Majoring: The Do’s & Don’ts of Studying Beyond One Degree

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

When it comes to college studies, triple majoring sounds like a one-way ticket to disaster. One major is already hard enough, let alone three. Right? Wrong! I’m here to tell you it’s not as impossible or unapproachable as it sounds. How do I know? Because I’m a triple major. Sure, it comes with a lot of sacrifices and it may sound like a never-ending list of classes, but there are a few tricks here and there that will allow you to rock your triple major without hair loss. 

Let me begin with a small disclaimer though — I won’t sugarcoat this list of do’s and don’ts. As much as I want to encourage you to consider pursuing more than one major, this is a serious decision, and my goal is to give you the tools and the clarity to make that decision. So, without further ado, let us begin with the do’s.

Do give yourself time to think

When it comes to majors, deciding on your main degree is hard enough as it is. If you’re going to add one or two more, it is best if you take the time to consider your options. Making a worth-the-time combination, tailored to your needs takes a lot of introspection and planning. Take me for example, I knew from the beginning that visual arts were one of my many passions. I couldn’t, however, see myself doing just that. I like fast-paced environments where I can embrace change and I’m constantly being challenged. I also like routines and having a daily schedule. I also knew that I wanted to venture into unknown territory, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to rely all my future on that gamble. In my case, marketing, plastic arts, and visual communication seemed like the places to be. But I wasn’t going to choose blindly and I had to structure things out, which takes me to my next do.

Do think of it as “Skill, peace, and new territory” 

I had in mind marketing as my main major. It was interesting and the research had taken me to learn about job seeking and opportunities, and a variety of professional profiles for inspiration. With these resources at hand, I reviewed those profiles that caught my eye and studied their academic movements. What and where did they studied, how many organizations and extracurriculars they were a part of, where did they make their internships or practices, what were they doing now, etc. It took me a vast amount of time, my whole senior year, and a little bit of the first few months of college to research my main major. I also made a comparison with the professional profiles of those thriving in the other two majors I had on my list. Marketing appealed to my need to acquire new skill sets for the future. As an art student all my life (I came from an art school), I needed structure, budgeting, and strategic planning in my list of developing skills. So, my skills were set, what now? 

I wasn’t fulfilled after one year of just marketing, and as much as I was learning, corporate jargon took a toll on my creative nature. In came the “peace” side of my equation and my second major in plastic arts. Art was my home, second nature, so, allowing myself to major in something I’m good at gave me the space to reconnect with my past and recharge my batteries for the new future I was working on. It wasn’t all peaches and cream though (they were still classes I had to take and pass), but it sure became a sort of safe haven from the new challenging territories. 

So, marketing was grilling me with new life skills and art was giving me peace. Yet, I still felt unfulfilled. I still wanted something fun and out of the box. That’s where visual communications tagged along. The idea of working in a whole set, be it television or cinema, was intriguing and the curriculum for a third major meant fewer classes. Which fulfilled that itch for something new. 

I finally had my three majors, I was happy with how I had placed them, in order of hierarchy. But now, I needed to give my triple majors an important aspect: 

Do give your bachelor’s a structure

Taking classes at random will only cause you a headache. Compare the degrees side by side, see which classes could possibly take more time due to prerequisites, and narrow down the ones that could take a more mental toll on you. Look at the hours of each section and see if they conflict with one another. Take the advice from your seniors into consideration. Mapping the possible schedules for the semesters ahead might not give you the accurate order of classes you need, but it will give you a structure in how you should move about your studies.

Now that you have the necessary questions, formulas, and details to guide you on how to explore the options tailored to your double or triple major, it’s time to know what to avoid.

Don’t ignore the monetary aspect

A college degree is as expensive as it is, let alone adding three majors. When you think about that, it’s best not to ignore budgetary aspects just because. You will need to make some projections on your future expenses. Triple majors are equal to spending money due to a longer time in college. When the time comes, you will probably have to step in and get a load of more student loans. In other words, if you don’t want to be caught off guard, plan ahead, project yourself, anticipate, and see what you need to fulfill financially. Financial burdens may seem like an everyday thing, but having a clear mind about what you’re stepping into can help ease the load and in return help you succeed with less stress during your degree.

Don’t fall prey to the twisted “go with the flow mentality” 

Going with the flow can be helpful at times, especially when you’re going through tough times. It can, however, be easily deceived into laziness. When you’re in college, you will meet all kinds of people and some will not align with the responsibility of having two or three majors. In some cases, these will be the same people filling you with ill advice on how to handle work stress. (Speaking from experience, since many told me to quit). So, if the time comes when you encounter discouragement and are, in return, encouraged to be completely lazy, do not heed. Simply ignore, or listen, if it’s your friend, but you don’t need to act upon it if you don’t feel like you should. 

However, if your body and mind are telling you to stop and rest, please do. Do not push your body to the limit. You will need all your strength to study more than the usual degree, so don’t overdo it. 

Don’t trust others to do the job for you

Advisors, administration, senior students, professors, and others; they’re all there and some can lend a helping hand. They can’t, however, do the work for you. They won’t be able to give you the skills you acquire by your trial-and-error studies. Also, they most certainly won’t be able to tell you what you’re lacking to fulfill your degree. All those aspects require you to be present when making decisions and obtaining new information. Triple or double majoring will demand a careful eye and sharp mind to keep in hand what needs to be done.

So, there you have it! A list of three do’s and don’ts that open the possibility to even more discussion. I’ve had my fair share of life lessons studying a triple major, but one thing is for sure, I feel fulfilled and overjoyed with my decision. Hopefully, you will too. 

Writer, editor, artist, and social media enthusiast, Naomi thrives on fun daily challenges and lots of bed rest. When she's not working, she's outside trying to find the latest hobby to dig her hands on.