Why Changing My Major Scares Me

When we were younger, it wasn't an uncommon thing for us to change our minds often: on what we wanted to eat, who we were friends with, or which color crayon to use next in our picture. One of the hardest questions to provide a concrete answer to, though, was what we wanted to be when we grew up.

Perhaps one minute we wanted to be a princess, and the next we wanted to be the President. If it wasn't a doctor, then it was a cheerleader. If not an astronaut, then a chef. The list could go on, and despite the cuteness of a little one’s indecisiveness regarding their future aspirations, the level of cuteness begins to decline dramatically once we actually grow up and are still unsure on what the hell we want to do with our lives.

 

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I found myself in this latter boat when I recently decided to change my major from biology to biochemistry. Sure, it wasn't a huge change—like it would have been had I gone from biology to English, for example, or even to education—but that decision alone was one of the hardest I have made yet as a young adult. The reason why it was so hard to make: I thought I had it all figured out.

 

When I graduated high school, I thought I knew everything I needed to know going into college: what classes I wanted to take, how many years I would be in school for, what job I would have, and where I would be working. Then, after completing my first semester of college, it wasn't until I had a totally casual conversation with one of my professors that I realized that the major I had decided on (and had basically written in stone) turned out to not be the best fit for me nor the future career I was aiming for.

 

I didn't like the concept of changing my major because, in my mind, I equated it to me not being prepared or me not having the right information beforehand. I wish I had been told earlier, when I was first declaring my area of study, that a different major would make me more qualified. I wish I could have avoided the hassle of starting over with my game plan.

 

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I know in my right mind that freshmen change their majors all the time, and so do upperclassmen. Better yet, I know that it’s even OKAY to change my major (and as many times as I want, too), but the fact of the matter was I didn't want to have to change it in the first place. There also seemed to be a sort of pressure for us to kind of have our crap together once we entered college, and changing my major scared me at first because I was not only worried that I was making the wrong choice, but I was also worried that I would regret the switch.

 

I realized, though, that I won’t know whether this new major is my true, best fit until I give it a try—and, just like when we were little, I realized it’s okay to not have everything figured out. I’m still young and have plenty of life left to change my mind a hundred times over. I didn't fail myself (nor did anyone fail me) by having to rewrite my game plan. If anything, it has broadened my perspective to being open to change.

 

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Keep this in mind as you students begin to lay out your own plan for next year. Be open (and ready) for change during this registration period!