Spring time at Augie is filled with many decisions and deadlines with an important one being the duty of declaring a major.
This can be daunting for many who don’t have a set field they want to study in yet. Meanwhile, some students know exactly what they want to do. I was one of those students.
I knew for a fact that I wanted to declare as a premed Biology and Neuroscience major. I was itching to declare this spring so I could dedicate the next three years to studying science and eventually going to medical school. However, I had a revelation that I wanted to do something different.
It sprawled me into a panic for I knew I wanted to declare but now I didn’t quite know which direction I wanted my future to go in. This got me thinking about the cultural structures that we abide by and what can be done differently.
We are told that we have time to figure things out, that we don’t have to declare right away, but in a way, that’s not true.
How can we be patient with our decision when majors such as pre-med, pre-dentistry, pre-psychology, business majors and many others must be decided upon almost right away to be on track for graduation?
At a liberal arts college, you’re given the opportunity to take classes in every field, to have time to decide but it takes some students way more time and maybe even a change in environment such as studying abroad for a decision to be made.
It makes me think about the different approaches that high schools and institutions could take. If high school students could pick more specific electives and be informed about the different paths they can choose from early on, then perhaps we wouldn’t have so many switched majors in college and unhappy students spending thousands of dollars on classes that won’t help them towards their future.
Then again, it is to the institution’s benefit for students to quickly decide on a major and then be given an opportunity to switch, and then must pay additional money to make up for the credits they’ve wasted.
It seems to me that this paradigm needs to be drastically altered.
It is also apparent that students need to actively be aware of their passions from an early age and not depend on college to be when a light bulb goes off because it may very well never be lit if the stepping stones aren’t paved.
Thankfully, students in college who don’t have a clue what they want to do are not stuck if they are motivated to constantly trying to figure things out and use every resource available.
Resources like lunch and learns at Augie, workshops on deciding about majors, and business expos can be vital in decision making but they must be utilized and more importantly, utilized early on.
To me, these were key to re positioning myself to the field of marketing and communications.
It’s quite the 360 in comparison of what my original major was but by opening myself up to different avenues instead of seeing myself stuck in a major I’m unhappy in, I could redirect my future before it was too late.