The Deal With Majors

by Erin Westerman

Fotolia_50447543_XSI thought I was all set. It was the beginning of the second
semester of my freshman year in college and I had my classes all lined up.  But then I made a decision. I wanted to
change majors from Marketing Communication to Hospitality Management.  So, even though it was a very inconvenient
time, and it swamped me with work to catch up on because I joined the classes a
week late, I loved it! Here are some tips if you’re thinking about changing
your major, or declaring a major at all.

  • Talk about it
    • Discuss with your parents (or other trusted
      adults) what you would be good at, the
      courses you liked in high school, and
      even what you know you definitely don’t want to do. (Believe it or not, they will
      probably have some helpful advice!) If you have a lot of options floating
      around in your head, don’t be afraid to talk to your advisor, the
      dean of a
      specific major, or students who are currently studying in the field you may be
      interested in.
  • Think about the long term
    • I know, this can be terrifying. However, I think
      some of the best advice is to think about the careers you are interested in
      that correlate to your field of study. A lot of people work towards a degree
      without giving much thought to what they will do with it afterwards. Find out
      what types of jobs are out there to see what would best suit you.
  • Dip your toes in
    • I have so many interests that narrowing them
      down to one thing I want to focus on is nearly impossible. But, if you think
      you may be interested in something, give it a try. Like sociology? Take an
      introductory class and try it out. Chances are, it satisfies a core
      requirement. If you find out that it’s something you are interested in or you
      switch majors and have a ton of credits in one subject, make it a minor like I
      am doing with Communications.
  • Do internships!!!!
    • I cannot stress this enough! Part of the reason
      I chose Endicott was because of the internship program. Students have a four-week
      internship in January during both freshman and sophomore years, then a full
      semester internship senior year. I had already been leaning toward changing my
      major when I started my month working 9-5 in a public relations department.
      Getting out there and getting that real world experience helped to reaffirm
      that notion that this was not right for me, and I didn’t have to wait until
      after graduation to find that out.

  • Fotolia_1672955_XSIt’s okay to be “undecided”

    • I remember stressing out when I had to fill out
      my ‘intended area of study’ in college applications. In reality, it is not the
      end of the world if you don’t know. I know plenty of people who are still
      undecided (or are liberal studies majors if you go to a liberal arts school).
      Many of them now have an idea of what they would like to do because they’ve
      taken a plethora of classes in all sorts of areas. And, they got their general
      education requirements out of the way in the process. If you are going into
      college undecided, you might want to choose a school that has a lot of options
      for majors so you have a broad array of choices.
  • Go with your gut
    • At the end of the day, it’s your life and your
      decision. The most important thing is working towards something that you love.
      (No, you won’t love those 8 AM classes but they will be worth it.) You WILL
      find your niche and discover a career that will be your passion.

Erin Westerman is a freshman and student blogger at Endicott College.

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