Major Changes: What do You Want to Do?

You’ve walked into college with an idea in your head. You know what you want to do; you’ve known it ever since high school. Everybody who’s asked you has gotten the same enthusiastic answer: “I want to do this!”

In short, you’re pretty sure you know where you’re going.

Or maybe not.

Despite that idea you’ve had, you can find yourself drifting. You can take classes in whatever you want, regardless of what your major. If you happen to be sitting in on a History course while you’re working on your Biology major, that’s fine—you’ll probably need to, anyway, in order to cover some gen-ed requirements.

Let’s say, though, that the History course was actually really interesting. So you take another one. And another one. Eventually, you look at your schedule and realize that you’re taking a lot more History courses than Biology courses, and you’re having a lot of fun.

What do you do?

Here’s what you don’t do: Don’t freak out about the difference between majors.

Biology majors can lead to some great and well-paying jobs, sure. So can a degree in history, if you play your cards right.

Don’t continue to pursue a major if it’s making you miserable. Particularly, don’t continue pursuing a major just because you’ve heard it’s easier to get a job with it. What you’ve heard may not always be true.

There resources on campus to help you find a career, no matter what your major is. The Career Development Center on 10th and Jordan has drop in hours from 12:30 until 4:00 pm all throughout the week, and is a great place to go to ask questions regarding your major and careers and internships that apply to it. Check them out: http://cdc.indiana.edu/index.html

Sometimes, it’s almost easier to approach college without a major. That way, when you find out that you’re really enjoying those History courses, you can bounce right in with no problem. When you’re a Biology major, though, switching to a History major—after all those years telling people, “This is what I want to do!”—

Well…

It’s difficult.

However, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

So: What do you do if you want to declare a major, or change the one you have? Go to the academic advisors for the new major and chat with them. See what kind of requirements there are for your major and what sort of classes you should start to take. See if any of the classes you took previously apply to the gen-eds for this new major.

Changing your major—or declaring one to begin with—can be difficult. A lot of people can nag you and tell you things won’t work out. Listen to them, but take what they say with a grain of salt.

Pursue what you love, use your resources properly, and you can go anywhere.

For more posts on changing your major:

About The Author
Celia DanielsEnglish Major, Class of 2017

I am a junior majoring in English and minoring in Spanish and Psychology this year.

I spend a lot of my time working with the IU Office of Sustainability through my Cox Engagement Scholarship. I'm also hold two other positions with RPS. It's been a busy year so far, and it looks like it's only going to get busier.