Choosing your college major is no easy feat. Whether you’ve known the direction you want to take since you were young or you have a vague idea (or no idea at all), you will need to choose a major when you get to college. By choosing your major, you are choosing what you will study for the next four years. This major will prepare you for career opportunities and your professional future.
But it’s hard to know early on whether you will like the major you’ve chosen down the road. You could be two months — or two years — into your college education and find yourself wondering: Should I change my major? Believe it or not, changing majors in college is more common than you may think. These signs will help you know if you should switch majors.
6 Signs You Should Change Your Major
1. You Don’t Know Why You Chose Your Major in the First Place
Let’s face it: Sometimes our loved ones are quick to offer advice. Your mom, your sister, your cousin, your best friend — they all know you pretty well, and they may feel confident weighing in about your course of study. And because you respect them and trust them, you may have taken their advice and selected a major based on the input they shared. When you started taking classes, though, they weren’t at all what you expected.
2. You Aren’t Doing Well in Your Classes
If you are having a lot of difficulty in the core subjects for your major, it may be a sign you need to change your major. Every major has challenging coursework; college is meant to stretch your boundaries and teach you to think in ways you haven’t before. But if you can’t seem to succeed in your classes no matter how much you study, and the coursework just doesn’t “click” at all, you may want to consider exploring other subject areas.
3. You Aren’t Engaged in Your Classes
College is an opportunity to dive into a field of study that excites and challenges you. If you find yourself bored and not engaged in your classes, the major you chose may not be the right major for you. Your coursework should be something that you enjoy thinking about. If this isn’t the case, you may want to consider reevaluating your major.
4. You Chose Your Major Because You Thought It Would Mean Big Bucks Later
Yes, college is designed to prepare you for your career, but money can’t be the sole driving force when choosing your next steps in life. If you chose a major that you have zero interest in just because you think you will make more money later, you may struggle to excel in the future.
5. You Are Curious About a Different Major
If you’re studying pre-med, but you’re more interested in your friend’s marketing classes, you may want to re-evaluate your major. If you find yourself wondering more and more about other fields, explore those majors by taking a few related classes to see if changing majors would be the right move.
6. You Hated Your Internship
Internships are designed to give you hands-on experience in your field of study. If you hated your internship, you may not want to spend the next 40 years in that field. Evaluate what you didn’t like and, if the problems are directly related to the career path you’re on, re-think your direction.
How to Choose the Right Major
When you register for college, schedule a meeting with your adviser. Be honest about where you see yourself in five, 10 or even 20 years, and discuss how you might get there. Your adviser may have career assessments that you can take, or they may suggest taking exploratory classes that will help you narrow down your interests. Many schools will also require that you take classes in a variety of areas to expose you to subjects you may not be familiar with.
How to Fix a Major Misstep
If you’ve taken all the right steps and still find yourself wondering if you should switch majors, don’t worry. Talk to your adviser about changing your major. They may help you find resources in the department you are considering.
You can also meet with people (professors, teaching assistants, other students) in the department you want to switch to. These people will be able to give you an idea of the coursework, requirements and career landscape. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to make the switch, check out the class list and sit in on a class or two. This will give you a better idea of the subject matter before you make any big changes.
Your major is a big decision in college, but it doesn’t have to lock you into what you will be doing for the next 40-plus years of your life. Take some of the pressure off yourself: Understand that people change course throughout their lives — you never have to be “stuck” in a field that isn’t right for you.
Get Started on the Right Foot
Whether you’re going to college after high school or later in life, you can get started on the right foot by financially preparing for college. Contact your Farm Bureau wealth management advisor to figure out how you can plan for the expense of college.