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Ask Yourself These Questions Before Switching Majors

By Amy Ahern
On April 27, 2017

 Coming to Concord University as an 18 year old can be overwhelmingly intimidating. Just a few months ago you were sitting in a high school and required to raise your hand just to use the restroom, and now society has thrown you into the pit of the harsh reality that comes with being an adult. With this anxiety comes the looming cloud of college and questions about your future. For me, what I once thought I wanted to do with my life quickly changed when I began my college career.

From the fall of 2015 to only a few weeks ago, I was double majoring in Secondary English Education and English with a literature emphasis. Before this, I was registered as an English with a professional writing emphasis major. I dreamed of the day I would be an English teacher, but quickly realized that future was no longer one I wished to live out. Due to Concord’s general education requirements, I was required to take my first communications class, and along with that I took my first journalism class. Here I discovered my true passion, and what I believe I want to do for the rest of my life. After several weeks of contemplation I decided to switch my major to communication arts with a journalism emphasis.

    While I contemplated this decision, I found myself answering these questions before I officially changed.

    1) Why am I leaving my current major? Asking yourself this question will identify what currently bothers you about your current course of study. Maybe what changed is that you have lost your passion for history, or maybe biology was something other than what you thought it would be. If the question “why am I even here” came to your head, it is a good indicator that you should switch. Before making any rash decisions about your major, however, be sure that you really know why you are leaving so you do not enter a field that gives you the same or worse problems.

    2) Will I still be able to graduate on time? I had spent almost two years at Concord taking credits toward my other majors, so for me, this was the most frightening question to ask. This is when I continuously met with my advisor. We sat down every day and spread out my future plans. She would remind me of classes that would be offered in summer session and helped me calculate credit hour requirements. Explore all your possibilities and discuss the change with a trusted advisor.

3) Will I be happy with my new major? My previous majors did nothing but stress me out. I realized I hated all the work that I

should have found enjoyable. Now that I take classes in a major I care about, my college days seem more fitted to me. On the other hand, if you feel secure in your current major, maybe switching is not what you need to do, but rather something else.

    4) What are my hopes for the future? Everyone goes to college for a different reason, and the best thing to do is find out what your reason is. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? Would you be happy calculating at a desk every day, or writing stories, or teaching in a high school? If you cannot picture yourself working in a job related to your major, shake things up and switch.

    Making decisions like switching your major takes more than a single rush of confidence. Sit down and ponder it. How different will your life be after this decision? Consider the effects it could have, consult your advisors and professors, and be able to identify what you want for you, not what everyone else wants for you. Most importantly, do not be afraid to take that needed leap of faith. This could be the start of a new beginning.

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