It’s Okay to Change Your Major

Katia Cobourn / Otterbein University »

Changing majors is sometimes the right choice.

Starting college is scary enough, however, when you have to choose a major, you’re making a choice that will impact your future. Your choice should give you confidence, lifelong skills, and financial security.

Choosing a major when you go to college can be a bewildering decision. Should you choose a major based on your interests and abilities, or should you consider income potential? Should you major in what you’re passionate about or what will please your parents?

Majoring in something that makes you doubt yourself is not the way to launch your college career. You should try to find your passion, but you also must be willing to make changes along the way.

Many of my friends came to college with a sure plan as to what they wanted to do with their lives. I followed in the footsteps of the science majors in my family. I entered Otterbein University as a chemistry major, planning to go to dental school after graduation. Going to a small liberal arts college, I was instantly put into a lab my first semester. The biggest lesson I learned in lab was that I didn’t want to be a chemistry major. Every time I went to class, my confidence in my life plan slowly diminished. I was not enjoying any part of my college experience.

I began reaching out to my friends for advice even though it felt wrong to want to be in a major that was not popular in my family. I needed to learn that I didn’t have to do what everyone else was doing. I also learned I needed to make the decision for myself, even if it didn’t sit very well with my family. Thankfully, Otterbein offers many campus resources to help students plan their college careers. I made appointments with my advisor, the Center for Student Success, and the Center for Career and Professional Development to figure out what the right path for me was.

Eventually, I landed in the Department of Communication as a public relations major. This switch was difficult to make; however, it turned out to be the right choice for me. As it unfolded, the hardest part of changing my major was gaining the courage to reach out to the people to get the help I needed.

The ultimate decision is up to you. You should not let people around you decide what you should be doing for the rest of your life. Figuring that out is hard enough, but that does not mean you cannot ask for support and help along the way. Reaching out to my peers and the faculty at my school changed my perspective on college. I went from a frightened first-year to a satisfied sophomore.

Never be afraid to take a step back and ask for advice when changing your major. The change can be the most important college decision you make.


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