Freshman Year: “Major” Indecision


Everyone has learning experiences freshman year of college. We learn to stay away from the Jungle Juice if we want to keep our heads out of toilets and trash cans, we learn that skipping class can only lead to slipping GPAs, and most importantly, we hope to learn what we want to do with our lives. Some of us go into college with our careers already laid out, and every step of the way planned. Those lucky few dash through advisor meetings in less than five minutes, their transcript following their 4 year plan to a tee.

And then there is me.

My transcript veers through the course catalog like a tiny geriatric attempting to ferry her car through a Wal-Mart parking lot. My long-suffering advisor looks at my transcript and schedules another thirty minutes for our meeting. My major first changed at Orientation after I took one look at the sample Political Science schedule and saw “Microeconomics” shamelessly emblazoned upon it. I’m a flake when it comes to big decisions like this, and it shows in my spotty track record with trying to pick a major. If there was a Indecisive Majors Anonymous, I’d be a repeat attender.

I’m commitment phobic when it comes to my major. By the time the honeymoon is over, usually after two or three months, I’m flirting shamelessly with unrelated courses. Already, I’ve split with Political Science and Biology. I was with Undecided for an extremely brief period, namely the two minutes it took to leave my Biology advisor’s bizarrely elephant-themed office and walk to the Undecided office, at which point I begged Poli Sci to take me back.

Now, four or five months later, I’m a Political Science major with a wandering eye. I like to blame my friend K., whose switching majors to become an event planner catalyzed the current indecision I’m mired in. Like any habitual flake, I see greener grass everywhere else, and now I’m caught in the place where “Fun” meets “Functional.”  A fun major is something like journalism, which I’d really love to do. I still daydream about a journalistic future in the land of “what if” (which is a neighboring land to the land of joblessness). A functional major is Political Science, which actually has jobs available after graduation. Plus, with the economy where it is now, people no longer say “You should study what appeals to you” when you mention your tentative major. Nobody can afford to anymore.

So I’ve decided to at least wait another semester before I decide to make another switch in majors. Political Science is the safe bet, and the introductory classes are rumored to be designed to weed out the flaky (i.e. me in Biology). A little extra time will allow me the chance to find out if I’m truly afraid of “major” commitment, or if this major decision is actually right for me.

What do you think? Is your major for love, or money?



    1. Emily says:

      I started out Bio and switched to Poli Sci and I can't help but wonder if I should switch back…

    2. Celia says:

      I started out Environmental Science, briefly flirted with both Poli Sci and English, and wound up Music Education. Yeesh.

    3. Kelly says:

      Psychology to Open to Art to Communications to Spanish to Journalism. And I am still only a sophomore.

    4. nicole says:

      I started out with a biology major and a chemistry minor. After a year I switched my major to Communications-Advertising. Later that year I picked up a biology minor. For my junior year, I also picked up a graphic design minor.

    5. Samantha says:

      Started with Chem/Premed, but switched to Bio/Premed when Orgo kicked my ass.

      Constructive advice: this article is a little too cutesy, with the similes and metaphors and jokiness. Not that an article shouldn't be fun, just that it was a little tough to get through.

    6. Roberto says:

      I am foriegn affairs and spanish and never looked backed. Love it

    7. Beth says:

      I hear ya. My past two years have been Psychology>Biology>Health Sciences>Biology with a minor in Psychology.

      And I didn't think the article was too cutesy at all…I mean that's pretty much the style most of the articles at College Candy are written in.

    8. Brittany says:

      I've gone from Dance to English to Early Education. What I really wanted to do was teach, I just had to figure out what it was I wanted to teach.

    9. Joanna says:

      History to Psych arts to Psych sciences

      My advice is find a theme in what interests you. For me, I like stories about people. Hence, history. But I also like science. So I settled on a psych sciences major with english minor. As you take more classes, you'll see what you're interested enough in to keep going. If you like the sounds of the next course down that path, stick with it. I got scared off by the requirements for history, but I could find tons of courses in psych that appealed.

    10. Koley says:

      I started out as Elementary Education…. then went Journalism… then went Communication Studies and English double major(!) at the big university… then flirted briefly with Hotel & Restaurant Management at the community college, and now after taking a year off completely from school, I've finally figured out what I really want to do: own a hotel or travel agency, so with the help of my amazing advisor we've decided on a Public Relations/Marketing double major with LOTS of electives from the business department; because even if my Plan A doesn't work; there are plenty of other doors which can be opened with that major.

    11. Jay says:

      I started out with graphic design and ended up with double major in graphic design AND musical theatre… yeah, weird but i love it!

    12. Stephanie says:

      I came into college as a biology major, switched to cytotech, then to english teaching, then to english, flirted with computer science, then to business. and now to accounting!

    13. Cait says:

      I'm doing mine for love, but luckily it's also practical. But I'm with you on changing, I started as a Chem major, then went to Biology, then to Mass Comm, then Dietetics, and now I'm finally a Sociology major. Even with Soc I only got into it because it was between Communications and Sociology to be a wedding planner (I know-odd, but they were the two most relevant and recommended majors for event planning at my college)


    14. Hope says:

      "Plus, with the economy where it is now, people no longer say “You should study what appeals to you” when you mention your tentative major. Nobody can afford to anymore."

      That's terrible advice. You should be doing what you enjoy no matter what state the economy's in. If you're going to end up doing it the rest of your life, it should be something you actually find interesting and want to do. There's no point to just picking anything…you'll end up regretting it.

    15. Mezi says:

      I started out as an Asian Studies major, looking briefly at PoliSci. Ended up absolutely miserable and burnt out despite my interest in the subjects, and ended up switching to Communications. Now I'm a lot happier, not to mention I'm in a major that has a lot broader use than an Asian Studies degree. I'm particularly focused on Management/Public Relations within the Comm degree here, which adds even more use to my major.

      While the job I want is pretty out there (I'd like to work as management for musicians), my degree's got a lot of uses if I need something else, and I'm a lot happier than I was. Win-win situation.

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