For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Aug 02 2018
by Alejandra Arevalo

5 Things to Consider When Changing Your Major

By Alejandra Arevalo - Aug 02 2018
Even if you thought that you had your major tattooed on your forehead, after your first year in college, you may realize that wasn’t the case. Maybe you aren’t as interested in your major as you thought or maybe there is something else that is calling you. Whichever the case, know that this is absolutely normal as everyone has several passions, and it can be really hard to choose one and stick to it throughout your studies. Here are five things you must keep in mind before, during and after changing your major after your freshmen year.

1. Question yourself.

College can be overwhelming and sometimes you will feel unmotivated to work. But if you would rather be doing something else instead of all your major-related classes, or if you feel that your courses aren’t related to your future goals, you should consider a new path of study. Ask your friends and family how they see you in your current major and in what major they might see you better. Close people know you well enough to be aware of your strengths and suggest interesting new options you might not have considered before.

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2. Inform yourself about the options.

After determining that your current major isn’t for you, look for other options. Remember that each major has different requirements and sometimes different costs that you must know about before choosing one. If your new major has a sequential path of study, it is likely that you will have to take summer classes to catch up with core courses. Evaluate all the changes that your new major would bring and see if you are ready to face them.

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3. Talk to an academic advisor.

Although colleges websites have all of the information about changing majors and transferring credits, each student has a particular case that should be considered individually. An academic advisor will evaluate if your credits can be transferred and will help you to create a course plan for your next semesters until you graduate.

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4. Beware of the deadlines.

Changing majors is a bureaucratic process that involves submitting several documents, writing personal statements and talking to academic advisors. As soon as you decide to change your major, look for the deadlines for every step of the process. Usually, you have to submit your request during the spring semester of your current year to make it effective for the next fall semester.

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5. Get ready for next semester.

Since you will be behind in your major classes compared to your peers, you should look for syllabi and read about the topics. You will feel more confident and prepared to participate in class next semester if you do so.

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If circumstances don’t allow you to change your major, you can always pursue a minor, an independent study or graduate school in a new field of choice. Although it is the starting point from which you will start your professional life, your major doesn’t limit your options. Remember that changing your major comes with new responsibilities and consequences that you must consider carefully. But if you feel that this change will make you happier, go for it!

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Alejandra Arevalo - New York University

Alejandra Arevalo is a sophomore at NYU studying journalism and sociology. She is a passionate foodie, art lover and adventure-seeker. Her dream job is to work for a major international newspaper, as a reporter or photojournalist, discussing social issues.

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