Advice on Changing Majors: How I Made The Decision
Are you a first or second year college student struggling to find a major that sparks your interests? Maybe you’re a junior realizing that all the work you put into your major isn’t bringing you joy the way it did when you were in your first year. At this point, you may be worried about time. However, it’s important to remember that time should not be an issue when looking into changing your major. If you have to take an extra year or two to complete your degree, so be it. It’ll be worth it.
Whatever the case may be, switching your major can be a daunting project. Don’t let your worries get the best of you. After all, you’re going to college to get a degree in a field you will most likely spend the rest of your working days in.
Have you ever heard the saying, “if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life?” This saying is very relevant to college and work. So many people wake up to go to a job they despise. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very appealing to me.
Why not enjoy what you do?
Let’s go back in time and set the scene.
17-year-old me was unsure of what I wanted to go to school for. I knew I enjoyed using the right side of my brain, which allowed for creativity. My senior year of high school, I enrolled in a creative arts course, just to fill an elective. I didn’t know I would love it so much. This is when I decided I would go to college for art.
During my first year of college, I attended my county’s community college, where I majored in, you guessed it, art. My thought process was to save time and money before I transferred to a university. I had the right idea, but I was longing for something a little more. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the professors and getting to use my creativity, but the small town feel just wasn’t for me. Therefore, what was supposed to be a two year program, was cut short in order to transfer to Rowan to continue my college career.
At Rowan, I majored in art education. I decided I wanted to help students achieve their highest potential through art. It sounded great - until I actually started the program.
Transferring in, I knew I was going to be behind all of the sophomores in the art education program. I powered through the program for two semesters, but found myself to be going with the flow and not really learning anything. That’s when my motivation started to lack.
I wasn’t receiving any value, and it honestly felt like a waste of time and money. I’d be lying if I said the thought of dropping out didn’t cross my mind a time or two.
I felt lost and confused.
In the midst of trying to find interest in art education, I was taking the PRAXIS, which is the New Jersey state exam to become certified to teach. After several attempts, I decided it was best to pause the test taking until I had a concrete plan of what I was actually doing.
After failing this test - several times, I decided it was time to take a trip to the university advising center. Art education began to feel like a lost cause, for me.
After discussing with my advisor at the center, I came to the conclusion that advertising would be my best bet. I would still get to be as creative as I would like, while gaining knowledge on how to strategically gain an audience for a brand.
Let’s fast forward to the beginning of my junior year. I was sitting in my first advertising class, “Intro to Advertising” where I finally had a sense of belonging.
I knew this is where I was meant to be.
That sounds so cliche, but it’s true. I knew advertising is what I could be doing for the rest of my life and I'd be totally okay with it.
Let’s fast forward again to my graduation. In the moment while looking back, I was (and always will be) so proud of trusting my gut and making a change that was beneficial for my future self.
To conclude, it’s important to take a step back from your studies and evaluate if your current situation, or in this case, major, will be feasible in the future to keep you happy.
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