To the Undeclared Majors

If you don’t have a major, you’ve probably heard the following from relatives, friends, professors:

“When are you going to pick a major?”
“If you don’t pick one soon, you’ll be in school even longer and have to pay more money.”
“You should think about what will give you the best career in the long run.”
“Be realistic.”

If you’re like me, you were cringing while reading that. Those kinds of remarks are so annoying. Here’s what I have to say to that:

Thank you for your advice. I’m sure you mean well. Now please get your nose out of my business.

I was an undecided major for my first year of college and I remember adults not leaving me alone about it until I finally did have a major and I understood why. They had my best interests at heart and because I’m young, they feel the need to bestow their advice upon me so I don’t make mistakes. But what they didn’t know is that I knew all of those comments because I would say them to myself pretty much every day of the week. I didn’t need another person (stranger or not) telling me.

Making a choice about a major isn’t easy and we all know that, at some point, a decision is going to have to be made. Want to hear how I made mine?

A sweatshirt.

Yes. You read that right. I was in my second semester of my freshman year and I wanted to sport some college pride. So I went into the university shop and grabbed a cheap, generic grey sweatshirt and headed back to my dorm. It wasn’t until that I realized that not only did it say UWSP, it also said College of Fine Arts and Communication.

The problem with that was that I was not a part of the College of Fine Arts and Communication or any college for that matter. So I interviewed for the BA Drama major in the Department of Theatre and Dance a month later, and for whatever reason, the professors picked me. Mind you, I had been thinking about interviewing for the program for a long time, but that accidental purchase is what pushed me to go through with it and try for a major that I love. Maybe that’s fate or maybe that makes me completely crazy. Maybe both.

So to all the undeclared major out there, here’s my advice to you:

“When are you going to pick a major?”

When you please. If you find a general field of study that you enjoy, then apply for that general major. You can always narrow your scope later.

“If you don’t pick one soon you’ll be in school even longer and have to pay more money.”

Okay, I can’t argue with that. If you wait until your fourth year of college to pick a major and you have credits all over the spectrum, you will be there longer than you intended. Again, try to find a general field of study you enjoy and take as many credits as you can in that field. Most likely, you’ll choose a major from that field of study and all those credits you’ve taken will apply to your major so you can graduate on time.

“Think about what will give you the best career in the long run.”

The best career for you. Do you love it? Good! While it’s not always necessary, it’s probably a good idea to have your major correlate with your future career.

“Be realistic.”

Yes. Be realistic about what’s right for you. Not your mom. Not your mentors. Not your grandparents. You. If you love it enough, you will have the drive to make it work and succeed. It doesn’t matter how crazy it sounds to other people. If it’s what you want, then go for it!

 

Until Next Time,

 

Dana Qualy

3 thoughts on “To the Undeclared Majors

  1. Great post. I had a hard time deciding what to major in when I went to college because I wanted to make my mother happy. Through the years, I have followed my passions and that has made me much happier for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy to hear you went after your dreams! I know that when I was making a decision a couple years back, I was afraid of disappointing my parents with my decision to follow an arts major rather than focus on a science major. Fortunately, they’re very supportive and encourage me to pursue my passion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s great. I wanted to go to medical school (but it’s what my mother wanted). I went nursing instead and received my PhD, but I’ve finally stepped back to examine what I’m passionate about. I like nursing and caring for people, so I don’t regret that path. But I’m passionate about writing fiction, so I’m pursuing that dream right now. Never too late. 😃​

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s