The hardest part about changing your major is finding the right resources to guide you.
Young adults deciding to go to college is a big milestone in itself. Truthfully, picking out a major to study should take an extended amount of time because it’s essentially going to be your livelihood. There are two ideas students typically follow when choosing a major, which are majoring in what you truly enjoy or what will make you the most money.
When I applied to the University of Arizona, I chose pre-veterinary science as my intended major. I loved animals and thought being a veterinarian would be good pay, so I went for it. I found myself sitting in an 8 a.m. animal science class and quickly realized the major wasn’t for me.
Of course, I stuck it out for the semester because it was my first year of college and felt it was best to wait for things to get better. I didn’t expect to feel so indecisive on what studies I wanted to pursue so early in college. The following semester, I changed my major to pre-physiology and thought, “Hey, why wouldn’t I try to be in the medical field?”
You can probably guess what I did after that semester. I changed my major yet again, and another time after that (including minors).
As I was going through the hardships of being indecisive on a career and major, I felt as though time was slipping through my fingertips. I wasn’t even 20 years old yet. I’m 22 now, and every so often I laugh at how much stress I caused myself. I beat myself up constantly and compared myself to peers who never mentioned any doubt in their major.
I spoke with the University of Arizona’s film and television advisor, Nicole Staab, for her insight and advice on this not-so-popular topic.
“It’s usually just those that are finding that maybe there were more options than expected. I see that a lot more. So, then just kind of randomly changing or randomly wanting to do something else. It’s usually something they find really interesting that they didn’t think they could make a career out of,” Staab said.
After my conversation with Staab, post-changing majors and struggling with indecisiveness, I now believe that I lost more time being too afraid to get the words out about being unhappy with my major than actually trying to decide on one.
Having to navigate through what I liked and didn’t like was difficult because I thought I was in a time crunch. At the time, a few advisors I spoke with were not much help as they only offered advice I already considered.
To my knowledge, I didn’t have any peers that were experiencing the same situation I was and it took a toll on my mental health. My situation was solely in my own hands as I declared digital journalism as my major and information science and eSociety as my minor (it was an old major and I had enough credits).
Being honest with yourself and with those who can help with this special matter will always result in a win.
- You have to admit to yourself you are struggling and undecided.
- Sticking to a major that gives you doubt won’t get you anywhere mentally.
- Having an open discussion with those you trust and an advisor is the best thing you can do.
- Remember that nobody is silently judging you for trying different majors out.
- Just go for it.
- Have the conversation.
- Plan carefully.
- Pick something that is good for you and good for after college.
- Consider the indecisiveness as a journey.
New resources for those who are struggling with this are now offered through the University of Arizona Advising Resource Center with the Wayfinders!
The new program has ambassadors who are also academic advisors that aid students in connecting them with advisors or others who can help. Instead of doing all of the research and emailing yourself, Wayfinders will help you navigate in a helpful and informational way.
Follow Jacqueline Aguilar on Twitter
Jacqueline (she/her), born and raised in Arizona, is a senior studying digital journalism and information science & eSociety. She spends her days with her two huskies, Chemino and Roma. Jacqueline enjoys hiking and is a coffee enthusiast!