We’ve all been asked what we want to be when we grow up since we were little. Perhaps answers like, “Princess! Firefighter! Actress! Superhero!” were the answers when we were children. Later on, answers like, “Doctor! Engineer! Lawyer! CEO!” were given.
Once college comes around this question turns in to the anxiety-provoking question of “what am I going to major in?”
There is a stigma in which students believe that entering college undeclared is an absolute shame. There is also a fear of changing their major. However studies have demonstrated this to be more normal than you might think.
According to the article, “Still Undecided? Here’s How to Pick Your College Major,” reporter Lexi Lieberman from University of Pennsylvania writes, “... an estimated 20 to 50 percent of students enter college as undecided, and an estimated 75 percent of students change their major at least once before graduation.” This goes to show that there is no shame in making these necessary changes in one’s college career.
Brenda Dang (senior, Liberal Studies), shares with us her experience as an undecided major upon enrolling at Stan State. “I came undecided because I had no idea what I wanted to do, but my teacher told me I should apply to a four year. I was always told I would be a great teacher, but I never wanted to be until I started tutoring.”
Through Dang’s journey as an undecided major, she found that her lower division general education courses helped her make a decision about her major.
“The lower division portion of my general education helped a bit because I took LIBS 1000, which made me realize that liberal studies would be an interesting major for me to think about.”
For those incoming students at Stanislaus who are feeling lost about what major to choose, take these words of encouragement from Dang, who has been through this experience first hand. “I would tell incoming freshmen to really take their time in discovering what they enjoy, and it’s okay to not be sure what they want to do.”
If you have chosen a major, but are no longer passionate about it, there is no shame in switching it.
Trin Avila (sophomore) shares, “I continuously keep going back and forth between English and computer science because they both peak my interest in what I want to do career wise.”
In regards to switching majors, Avila states, “I don’t see it as a negative thing because I feel like going back and forth allows me to see what I want to do from each angle.”
If you are feeling that the process of switching majors is not worth it, Avila shares, “It’s pretty easy to switch majors. Nothing is hard to find or figure out, and the department is always there to guide you.”
Making the right decision for you will not only benefit you in the long run, it’ll benefit those around you. Avila says, “If it’s something you're passionate about and would like to drop your current major for, go for it. It’s never too late to switch it up, and you can always double major or minor.
In regards to switching majors, Avila says, “I think people talk down on switching majors because no one likes uncertainty. Everyone likes certainty in their lives, and with the consistent change in majors, it can seem like your not taking your education serious in some people’s view.”
Furthermore, we can see that it is never too late to make the change you want to see in yourself. A prime example of someone choosing the best possible way to ensure a happy and successful future is Graduate student, Abel Lucero.
Lucero was originally going to get his bachelor's degree in kinesiology, which is a major heavily centered around STEM.
As he pursued graduate school, he found that his passion lies more within helping people in a different way. Upon applying to graduate school, Lucero decided to become a counseling major and now hopes to become a college counselor.
Lucero leaves us with this, “It can be a long time until retirement. I feel like students work really hard toward accomplishing their goals, so it's only deserving to pursue a career that they find rewarding and enjoy doing.”
All in all, it is never too late to do anything in life, especially when it comes to something you will be doing for the rest of your life. Take it from these students, who are now paving the way to their own success by following their gut.