Tips for Students Doubting Their Major

As a freshman, you had your first taste of life as a college student last semester. The semester included attending lectures, joining organizations around campus, and getting a better understanding of your major. Whether or not you have officially declared your major, you may find yourself considering another route. Perhaps political science isn’t what you expected or you miss the passion that you had for journalism. As a freshman, you may think that you should have your life all figured out, but that’s definitely not the case. As the spring semester begins, it is important to look at all your options as a student. This blog will give you three tips on what to do if you begin doubting your field of study. These tips can help reassure you that you made the right choice or allow you to have the confidence to switch majors and try something new.

Continue exploring

It’s a common misconception that students should come into college knowing what to do for the rest of their lives. Although some students are confident in their decisions, slow down and stay calm if this doesn’t apply to you. It is actually normal for students to enter college still exploring and searching for the perfect match. In fact, most undergraduate students change their major at least once and don’t find their way until further in their college experience. One recommendation is to attend workshops or seminars about a topic of interest to gain experience or new knowledge about the subject. Another tip is to talk to an advisor, professor, or an upperclassman about your interests. These resources can be extremely useful in helping you find the right path and connecting your passion with your major. 

One bad experience doesn’t equal a bad major

Throughout the college experience, students may find themselves in a class that they don’t feel connected to. Many students can have a bad relationship with a professor or a particular course within a field of study. Unfortunately, this can be disappointing and have a negative impact on your desire to study a specific major. Just remember, one bad professor doesn’t mean one bad major. It’s important to take different factors into consideration when deciding if a major makes you happy. This includes career opportunities, relationships with peers, extracurricular opportunities, passion for the subject, and whether you can see yourself having this career in the future. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late

As the semesters pass, you will notice that courses become specific to one major. Changing your major after completing many major-specific courses can set you back in time. If you are feeling doubt about your declared major, it’s important to talk to an advisor, peer, or professor early on so that you can address the situation. Changing majors as a freshman or sophomore can still grant you the flexibility to catch up in another degree plan. However, juniors and seniors can run into a lot of obstacles when trying to switch majors. This can include postponing their expected date of graduation, increasing the cost of earning a degree, and prohibiting certain opportunities for themselves. If you find yourself in this position, be prepared to tackle these challenges and try to change your degree plan to one that relates to the courses you’ve already taken. 

It can be difficult to decide on a major when starting college, so it’s important to be aware of the opportunities you have. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith and change your major if you have doubts. If you decide that changing your major is best, follow these tips to help you make a smart choice. 

Pearson Students: Have you changed your major before? What advice do you have? Share by commenting below!


Marissa Atilano is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso and majors in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. She is a Terry Scholar and serves on the Social Media Committee for the Terry Scholars Organization. She is also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery- Women in Computer Science(ACM-WICS) organization. Marissa is a Pearson Campus Ambassador for UTEP.

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