Changing a Major: Why students should not be afraid to do so

By: Jennie Brouse

The day I switched my major a weight that I didn’t even know existed immediately lifted off of my shoulders.

Coming into college, I had been so sure of my life, and what my plans for the future were. I had decided on my major since my freshman year of high school, so I came into college with almost four years of being sure of my life plan.

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I had convinced myself that I would not be a part of the roughly 75% of college students who change their major after getting there.

Well, I was wrong, and I learned rather quickly that my initial major was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My passions lie elsewhere, and by making this change for my future, I have since become immensely happier. 

Sometimes, when you’re in the wrong place, you just know. I knew after my first few classes in my former major that it was not where I was meant to be. But instead of switching out and taking classes in the major that I knew I was passionate about, I decided it would be better to tough it out and hope things got better. Spoiler alert, things did not get better. I continued taking those classes and continued to regret my decision for almost a full year longer than I really should have. 

I had a lot of fears about changing my major. I was afraid of letting down the people that had helped me get to where I was. I was scared that the professors in my former major would be upset with me for leaving, or feel that it was their class that made me want to leave. But none of that happened, instead, I was filled with support from both my former and current/new major. They weren’t mad that I was leaving, but instead, they were happy for me that I was able to find my true passion. 

Even if they had been mad at me, I needed to realize that I did not need to base my life on opinions that others had of me. While it may have felt sad at the moment of leaving, I was able to improve my mental health by switching to something I was truly passionate about, with material that came more naturally than what I studied before. My grades even improved with the switch. 

In all honesty, being told we have to decide our life plan before we are even legally allowed to drink is a bit ridiculous. The reality is, most people, especially college and high school students, are completely clueless about their life plans. This is okay, and it is completely normal.

This is a conclusion that I still struggle with, even almost a year after switching majors. I wanted to feel like I had my life together and my future planned, but I still don’t. However, changing my major did and still does feel like it was a step in the right direction.

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