Advice for college students who want to change majors


Graphic by Jade Williams

College is really stressful. I still have panic dreams from the emotional turmoil I endured trying to get everything ready to go into my freshman year. So, when I went to orientation and was provided with a massive list of majors, some of which I’d never even heard of, I picked the major that I recognized and actually thought about doing.

Thinking that most business majors would be similar and that I could switch to the others if I didn’t like mine, I picked business administration.

At the time, the decision made sense and didn’t stress me out. I was familiar with business, I had family members who have business degrees and the school even made my schedule for me, which was a massive stress reliever on my part. After orientation, I was ready and willing to start getting my undergraduate degree in business administration. Then, I started taking the classes.

The first semester went alright. Classes weren’t too hard, I made good friends and I got around campus okay. I only had one business class, though, and pretty quickly, I realized that I didn’t really enjoy it.

“This is normal,” I thought. “Everyone complains about their classes and nobody likes school. I’ll just suck it up and get through this semester.” 

I did suck it up, and my mental health just got worse. I didn’t just not like my classes, I dreaded going to that 101 class. I was terrified of the idea of getting a job that involved anything with business, but I was scared to switch. I thought it was too late and that I had dug my own grave.

I didn’t think it was weird to wake up panting from dreams about managing an office or to show up to class only to sign in, put headphones in and play on my computer for the hour. 

It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I decided to make a change. I’d heard good things about mass communication, and in my sophomore year, I could have MACO 101 as an elective. 

“Worst-case scenario,” I thought to myself, “I get a free credit and I’ll just keep doing business.” 

For the first time in my life, though, I got the best-case scenario. I fell in love with mass comm. in one class. Switching majors was surprisingly easy, and when I had a class I loved, I didn’t feel so defeated and overwhelmed all of the time. I’d even catch myself daydreaming about being a professor in the subject. I switched my major and didn’t instantly drop dead like I thought would happen. 

A lot of those negative feelings about switching were coming from my worry of finances. My TOPS only lasted four years, and I needed to be in and out of school by then or I thought I was a failure. However, none of that was actually a concern when I talked to an advisor. Classes were transferable, so I only lost a credit or two. They also reminded me that in the bigger picture, it doesn’t matter if you graduate in four years because if you hate what you’re studying, it’ll feel like a lifetime.

As a junior in a major that I love, take my advice. You’re probably going to start in a major you don’t like. If you do like it, then I’m happy for you and hope you succeed. If you don’t, it’s ok to switch. You can still graduate on schedule, and even if you don’t, you’ll be amazed at how less stressful graduating can be when you enjoy what you do. You got this!