There’s something about changing majors that leaves you with a gut-wrenching feeling. It’s a big change, we’ll admit, but it probably feels bigger than it actually is. Seriously, people switch majors all the time! Regardless, this major change typically brings about these five common fears.
1. Not graduating on time.
Okay, this has got to be the number one fear. We all head into college with this idea in our minds that we’re supposed to finish in four years. Actually, this often isn’t true! You create your own timeline, so if you need to study for another year or two in order to chase the major you’re more passionate about, so be it! It’s really not a race at the end of the day, but you can always pay your adviser a visit so they can help you map out the best plan of action with your courses. Who knows…You might not even have to push your graduation date back after all.
2. Hating your new major, too.
Yikes! Imagine switching your major only to find out that you don’t like this one either. There are many reasons you might not like your major, but some things that can help give you clarity are taking on internships and doing research on potential career paths within your major. There’s probably a lot more career flexibility than you think! Plus, the classroom really can’t give you a feel for your future career the way an internship can. But at the end of the day, remember that you’re never stuck. Who’s to say you can’t change your major again (the third time’s a charm, right)? And, don’t forget you can also tack on minors and specializations.
3. Having to take summer courses.
What do we say to this? “You gotta do what you gotta do.” Summer courses might feel like a bummer, but hey — It’s probably worth it in the long run. Once again, we recommend talking with your academic adviser to figure out the best plan of action for tackling your courses.
4. Being unsure about your future career.
Here’s a biggie. Sometimes students want to change their major to something they’re way more passionate about, yet maybe their old major offered better career stability and a higher starting salary. That’s a tough one, and you really have to weigh your own priorities here. Ask yourself, “Is your definition of success solely based on money, or is it based on your passions and happiness?” You define your own success, and once you know what that is, you can find ways to work toward it.
5. The reactions of other people.
It sounds silly, but the reactions of other people really can affect you. Will they judge your decision? Will they make comments about how you’ll be in school forever? You really never know. But while we know it’s easier said than done, you should totally just brush off these reactions and say, “Who cares?” You’re doing this for you, not anyone else. Why should their reaction matter?