5 Signs That You Should Probably Change Your Major

As a freshman in college, there is always this unnecessary pressure that you HAVE to declare a major right out of the gates. This leads to frantically choosing a major that you haven’t even taken classes for yet or more importantly, know if you even enjoy. The truth is, there is no need to rush. I mean no one has their entire life figured out at 18 anyways, so why should you?

Once students hit that official “declare” button they are often timid in exploring other options and panic that redeclaring won’t be seen as acceptable. This feeling of panic hits way too close to home with me since over the past year I did a complete 180 from the typical biology pre-med track to journalism and communication. Here are five signs I wish I knew before that your major may not be a match made in heaven: 

  1. 1. Your major was chosen for you.

    mother and daughter talking

    Maybe you picked it to satisfy your parents’ wants? Or maybe it was because it was your friends’ or siblings’ major? Either way, these aren’t legitimate deciding factors when choosing what you want to do for the rest of YOUR life. You have to think about what will make you happy; after all, you are going to be the one studying it for four years, not anyone else. Now, four years may seem like a long time, but it’s actually quite short term when you figure in that you could be potentially spending your life in a career that you absolutely despise.

  2. 2. You originally chose your major for the wrong intentions.

    payroll clerk counting money while sitting at table

    If you chose your major solely based on the money down the road, you might need to consider finding something that has more meaning to you than dollar signs. Not to use a cliché, but money can’t buy happiness. So, no matter how well paying a job may end up, it’s not worth the emotional toll it can cause along the way.

  3. 3. You hate your major oriented classes.

    overhead view of a woman sitting in front of her laptop

    Speaking of emotional toll, college can become overwhelming real quick if you find yourself struggling to succeed or find motivation in your coursework. This is exactly what happened to me. Not only was I falling behind, but I was also no longer engaged in the content I was learning or willing to improve at it. At first, it’s hard to tell if it only seems challenging because it’s your first time taking college classes, but at some point you have to draw the line between whether it’s a new level of difficulty or if you’re truly suffering while putting forth your full effort.

  4. 4. You have no time to have fun.

    I know, I know, the purpose of college is to further your education, but is it really worth it if you aren’t getting the entire ~college experience~? If you find yourself constantly drowning in homework and never feel like you deserve even a 10 minute break, it may be time to switch things up. Experiencing burnout is extremely common among college students, but it shouldn’t be happening because of your major. Being productive doesn’t only matter in terms of going to your classes or finishing your homework, it expands to other parts of your life as well, especially your health and wellbeing. So, close your laptop, put the book down and take a snack break, head to the gym or go out with your friends; it’s extremely well earned.

  5. 5. You are thinking about other majors.

    woman sitting on a chair next to a window

    Honestly, I think that this is the most alerting sign that it’s time to change your major. If you are taking the time to explore other options, clearly you are having second thoughts, which is completely okay. This time though, make sure that you do enough background research and maybe even test out a few classes related to that major before you make another impulsive decision. Going through this process once is stressful enough, let alone twice. 

Remember, these are only five signs that may be telling you that it’s time for a change, but there are plenty of others to be on the lookout for! Choosing a major is a tough decision, but don’t let it define who you are. At the end of the day, no one will remember what you studied in undergrad, they will only remember what you accomplish in your career.