Changing your major – not a terrible thing

“Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.”

-Bruce Barton

By Andrew Snow, My Colleges and Careers

Growing up, I always liked it when things changed: I got taller, my voice changed, I got to drive and even started staying out later, etc. However the older I get, the more resistant to change I became! I personally like to be “set in my ways” and not change anything.

This was especially true of my major…

When I first entered college, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So, I decided to pick something that seemed responsible enough work, and go for it. I declared my major in Marketing. I just wanted to pick something and hit the fast track to graduation.

As I was going through my classes, I realized that I wasn’t really enjoying this major. Obviously my first question “What do I do?” was on my mind constantly. “I knew I already have several classes done to get this degree, but could not get rid of the fact that graduating in something that you actually like…is pretty important!

Later that semester, I attended a business lecture on campus given by a successful entrepreneur who told us “love what you do, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”

That makes sense right?

You should actually enjoy what you do for a living. You’re the one making the money, right? So I took that advice to heart and decided that I needed to find something that I could enjoy. As luck would have it, I was taking a class that introduced me to the major of my dreams in public relations. Now, I am set to graduate in December and I couldn’t be happier.

Where are you?

If you feel that you are a failure because you want to change your major, don’t be silly. A huge majority of college students change their minds when it comes to a major in college, at least once. Not only that, but I’m sure many college students even change their major 2 or 3 more times before graduating. A friend of mine changed his mind 7 times! So, if you feel like you want to change, don’t sweat it! You’re like so many other students.

So, in thinking about this topic, I did a little homework, and found some pretty cool tips to help you make some good choices on the type of major you want in college.

1. Advisement office– Talk to your advisement counselor (every school has one). Tell them what major you are in currently and why you don’t like it, or a major that you are considering. Then, tell them what interests you and what your professional aspirations are. With that info, they can give you a narrow list of majors that might fit your personality and interests.

2. Have a variety of courses to take to satisfy your general education requirements.  When you’re going through school, your university will have a list of credits that you need to complete before you graduate. If you diversify the courses that you are taking, you are more likely to find something that will interest you. Also, some universities offer classes on career exploration (I took one of those). The professors are always very knowledgeable and know how to help you find your way. Plus, the coursework is designed to help you discover which professions you are best suited for.

3. Take a free personality/career aptitude test online. If you Google “career aptitude test” you will come up with a variety of tests and assessments that can guide you. Meyers-Briggs offers a pretty cool assessment test that you can take that is easy to understand. Also, check out any of the posts through My Colleges and Careers that might offer resources, as well as The Career Closet’s Creation Effect program which assist you in choosing careers based on certainly personality assessment and activities. If you don’t trust free online tests, your advisement center will be able to direct you to a nationally recognized personality test. The test results will show you which careers, and majors are best suited for your personality. These are quite helpful.

4. Internships- Get an internship (or do some job shadowing). If you hear about a job that you think might be interesting, find a professional in that field and ask if you could shadow them for a day. There is no better way to find out about a career than living it for a day. If you think it’s good, see if you can apply for an internship. Internships are great resume builders (regardless of whether or not you like the job after you’re done), and they help you network with professionals as well as give you some pretty awesome hands-on experience. Once you have those connections, they could help you get jobs after you graduate. If job shadowing is not possible, then call that professional up and ask if you could have 15-20 minutes to ask them a few questions about the job. Most professionals love to brag about what they do.

Most importantly, remember that changing your major is not a bad thing. If you do your homework, you won’t have to do it too many times. Then, all the work becomes worth it when you find what you love.

About the Author

Andrew Snow is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.

NOTE: I welcome the opportunity for guest posting. I love sharing what you have and know with anyone that I can! I try to keep it to at least 2-3 times per month, so if you have any interest in posting an article that is in some way related to college students, career-seekers and those needing some career exploration assistance. Email me anytime!

Your Success is My Success,

Keith Lipke

I’m a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at The Career Closet. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people who need it upon their search for the right career and college

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