'Tis the Season to Declare, Not Stress

Along with warm weather and Williamsburg tourists, the spring semester can bring about stress, especially for sophomores. Many are not sure what they want to do after graduating college, and the pressure to declare a major is scary. With midterms to study for and papers to write, there's no need to worry too much. Here are some tips that will make declaring your major a stress relief instead of a stressor.

Selecting your major: Know that it is okay if you do not know what major to declare off the bat. Make a list of the classes you have taken, as well as some interesting courses you want to take. You might find that there is a common theme, or you might have multiple interests that mesh well together.

Declaring a self-designed major: If you find yourself interested in a major that is not offered at your campus, look into how the syllabus is designed at another university, and find similar courses that will provide you with a similar skill set. Get input from professors in the subject areas you are interested in, research what other students have done in the past, and work with him or her to create a plan that will work for you.

You can change your major: While it may be ideal to remain on the same course, change is inevitable in life. If an adult at forty has the ability go back to school or change their career path, surely you can change your mind one, two, or even ten times if necessary.

Declaring tracks your progress: Declaring a major gets you on the right track, and examines if you have been taking the correct classes for you. By writing down your general requirements and implementing your remaining courses on a rough schedule, you can be assured that you will graduate with a degree within four years, if you choose.

Not declaring your first choice major isn't the end of the world: Do not stress if you are not admitted to a certain program or are unable to declare the major you planned to. You have the opportunity to apply again, and if that does not work, choosing a different major will not close any doors. There are many ways to reach a goal, and it is important to remember that in the world post-college, there are employees in every company and career with different majors.

You have time: While many people go to college for four years, there are a good number of students who stay an extra year to complete what they need before leaving. Whether it is because you took a year off, or want to double major and need more time, taking an extra semester to finish off classes is always a possibility if necessary. 

Remember, college is about exploring new things and learning more about yourself. If you still do not know what to do, take GERs or  classes that you find interesting, and eventually it will all come together. Instead of stressing about declaring your major, just think, I took one step towards my future, and I am on the right track. Now that is an accomplishment. 


photo credit: flicker/SodanieChea