Changing majors can be beneficial, should be embraced by students

Opinions Columnist | Mass Communication Senior

Changing majors is no cause for concern and should be embraced as a learning experience rather than considered a grave mistake on the part of the student.

According to a Nov. 29, 2005 NBC News article, 80 percent of college-bound students have yet to choose a major. Fifty percent of students change majors at least once during their college career.

This process often causes a lot of stress for students, many of whom are pressured to feel as though they should know what they want their career to be before they even start college. This expectation is outrageous.

Those who endured public school likely spent 12 years learning the same core subjects with a few extracurricular classes or clubs thrown in. “College prep” in public schools often consists of little more than studying the same standardized material used to prepare for the SAT or ACT. With the exception of a few career tests offered to high school students, career options are not explored in the detail they need to be in pre-college education. Yet, somehow students are still expected to know what they want to do right out of high school.

Students are thrust blindly into college and expected to grope through four years of classes, and are often encouraged to quickly choose a major and career path with little to no guidance. Choosing a major and career path is something that requires life experience, which students usually do not have. Students must at least experience studying a subject on a college level for a semester or two before making the decision to pursue it professionally or for the remainder of their university time.

For example, the two things I knew I loved to do and knew I was good at before coming to college were writing and reading. I decided to minor in creative writing right off the bat when I came into university. Instead of loving my creative writing classes, I hated the approaches of my professors and the smug attitudes of my fellow students who wrote absolute garbage and refused any constructive criticism.

I came to the conclusion that I could study creative writing on my own by finding other outlets, so I needed to change my minor. I had to get real experience studying creative writing as a minor before I could move on to one more suited to me.
Changing majors is a learning experience that should not be stigmatized. Sampling various majors helps students make more informed decisions and it gives them a broader knowledge base.

College has an infamous reputation for experimentation. It is expected for college students to have wild flings and one-night stands and to meet new people. The same applies for majors. Before settling down, students have to have a taste of what is not right for them. This way, they can devote themselves to their one true love instead of looking back on their life 20 years later and realizing they have been living a lie.

Bobcats, do not make a commitment before you have browsed your options.