It is 100% okay to change your major. Let’s say that one more time for the people in the back. It is 100% okay to change your major. A few days ago, my friend Lauren came to visit and while taking a walk by the lake she asked me what I thought of her current major. I thought she was perfect for it. (“It” being elementary education.) I told her that it seemed like a good fit because she’s caring and good with kids.
“But I don’t know if it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I like kids and I want to be a parent someday, but I don’t know if I want to parent other people’s kids. Plus, I don’t want to change my major AGAIN.”
I knew how Lauren felt, because just a year previously I was questioning my healthcare major. Everyone said I was perfect for it. An aptitude for science, a people person, compassionate – you get the picture. But when I finally changed my major to business almost seven months later, I knew that I was doing the right thing.
It’s crazy that we are expected to know exactly what we want to be by the age of 18 or 19. Half of those years were spent in or before elementary school. If you feel alone in the process of picking or changing your major, don’t. I did a survey on Instagram and 70% of people voted that they had at one point changed their major.
I also asked if anyone was willing to share their story about being undecided or changing their major and I was really happy with how many people told me all about their struggles and moments of being so unsure about the future. And while I would love to share every single person’s individual story I’m going to just share some of the key points and quotes from a few people.
“It’s totally okay to change majors, and it’s okay to do it more than once – even if it’s after you graduate!”
My friend who sent this in has already graduated with one major, but will be getting an additional certification post-grad so she can get the type of job she really wants. There’s no harm in getting additional certifications, minors, etc. (Especially if it helps you secure getting into the field you want.)
“I’m still planning on attending law school, but I changed my original major and dropped my French minor because I HATED French!”
Dropping a minor or changing it can make a world of a difference. (If it costs you your sanity, it’s worth too much!!) You can still end up with the career you wanted originally, but there are usually multiple ways to get there. The person who sent this in has their sights set on law school, but instead of majoring during their undergrad in broadcast journalism and a minor in French, they are now focused on majoring in political science with a legal studies emphasis.
“I’ll be graduating in December with my 4th and 5th major choices.”
A VERY good reminder to change your major as many times as you need to. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. You have your whole life ahead of you and you want to make sure that you’re doing something that you’re truly passionate about. Don’t major in something to please someone else. Choose the future that you want. Cheesy? Yes. True? Also yes.
You’ll figure out exactly what you’re meant to be doing and when you do it’s the best feeling. I’m a huge believer in everything happening for a reason. If I hadn’t transferred, chances are that I wouldn’t have changed my major. I would have felt like I needed to stay in the medical field, because of paying more for an out of state college and feeling like I needed to stick with my original plan.
If you don’t know what to major in or you’re thinking about changing it, below are some ideas I’ve compiled to help you find your purpose and have a career that you’re excited about.
Visit Career/Major Fair
These are super helpful!! Another hands on way to see what you like is to get internships and job shadows. Pretty much every field has them, and this is actually what made me realize that I wasn’t majoring in what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Talk It Out
Your family and friends may know you best, and they can offer great advice, BUT go see an academic advisor or speak with a previous teacher and get a more outside perspective. They might suggest careers you never even thought of!
Change Your Schedule
It doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul, but take a course in a different study and see how you like it and how you do. I always had business in the back of my head, and had been taking a business course here and there to see how I liked it. Turns out I’m pretty good at it and I really enjoy it.
Don’t Forget Your Dreams
Okay, now some of our childhood dreams are simply unattainable. For example, I most likely will never be a professional dancer. However, maybe I’ll decide to work in marketing for companies like the American Ballet Theatre or for a broadway show. Think about some of your childhood dreams and see if there is any way you can incorporate it into a new major!
Figuring out what you’re meant to be doing for the rest of your life can be so daunting. And it is 100% okay to not know. But you will eventually figure it all out. It might take a while and it might not make sense to some, but as long as it makes sense to you, then you are where you’re meant to be.
It’s all going to work out in the end.