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Jun 08 2017
by Kasey Fu

The Benefits and Flaws of Switching Programs Under Different Faculties in Your First Year

By Kasey Fu - Jun 08 2017
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For those who have officially been accepted into the class of 2021, congratulations! Most of you have a very stable idea of where you desire to be and what you desire to learn. Some of you still don't know where you see yourself in four or five years, and that's OK. Everyone knows for a fact that university/college is a time for self-discovery, adventure and development. It is, without a doubt, fully understandable that every individual's interests and path to success fluctuates over time, whether it may be short or long. Even first-years changing programs may be difficult and challenging, but the benefits and flaws all depend on the individual. However, if the program one is newly interested in belongs to a completely different faculty or department, the risks and awards are generally higher. A greater emphasis will be applied upon those who desire to switch faculties or departments within their first-year of university/college.

This article contains the purpose of identifying a few flaws and a few benefits towards making a big transfer in majors/programs. If you are a student who is not 100 percent set on graduating with a bachelor's degree dedicated to your specific program but would like to know any additional aspects that should be weighed in on the decision, then this will be a good read.

Here are the following benefits of switching between faculties.

1. Gain the extracurricular benefits of the new faculty/department.

Joining a new student body and taking on new classes dedicated towards your new program may be challenging, but hopefully, the transition is made easy with new student-run organizations, events exclusively made for your department, new tutoring sessions or occasions providing free food. The list goes on and on, and students can think of these aspects as an added bonus to whatever program they may be making the alteration with. Examples include The Engineering Society, The Science Society,  program-oriented lunch events, arts-exclusive theater productions, math modeling competitions and so forth. 

2. Make classes more enjoyable.

Although the challenge of starting over and making new friends sounds intimidating, if the new interest for a specific field is what carried you over from one program to another, then a stronger desire to study and perform well is generally what's included. Be sure that the material you learn makes you happy, and the level of worth will increase in both the short-term and the long-term. 

3. Flexibility.

Making the switch during your first year is much more flexible and sustainable compared to making the switch during your upper years. Many universities only provide general first-year courses so the students have not dug themselves into a deep hole just yet. First year is perfect for those who are attempting to make the transition as fast and as smooth as possible. Short-term benefits will typically be stronger for the students who made the transition early into their academic career.

Here are some flaws of switching between faculties.

1. Starting over.

Most individuals who face this obstacle aren't scared and would gladly start over with a fresh batch of new first year classes to get rid of. However, the thought of graduating a year later than all your friends or having to make your parents wait one more year until you receive your bachelors is still hard to take in, nevertheless. Changing programs during your first year makes the transition much easier due to having to give up less classes and altering the path to the finish line early on.

2. Re-branding your academic image.

One flaw that many do not think about right away is the high probability that other students, professors and business connections will notice the transition you made by viewing you in a different light that both you and them will deem as unfamiliar. When one makes the mighty switch from arts to engineering, science to environment or business to arts, your professional and academic image will be somewhat altered, and it will be your own responsibility to accept your own new self-brand. For example, if you were seen as a business kid before but made a faculty transfer per your heart's desires and became a scientist who is interested in chemistry and physics, the business connections you made before will change. However, re-branding your academic image does not entirely have to be considered a bad aspect. If the new program solidifies who you are as a person and, in your opinion, allows you to gain stronger perceptions from other people, than you can treat this element as positive. 

3. Treated as a second year.

Despite the amazing benefit of avoiding complications thanks to your decision of transferring faculties before year two commences, you will be known to everyone as a second year. Despite taking first-year courses for your new program, the benefits that frosh students get to partake in do not apply to you. This includes first-year only events, frosh week and first-year representative positions. Chances are, once you start your new program in second year, first-year students will come to you for general campus-life questions.

I hope this article and its content made somewhat of a positive impact on your decision if you are an ambitious individual who has been thinking about making a drastic change before starting your second year of school. Cheers to you and good luck in your first year of university/college, nonetheless! 

Lead Image Credit: Kasey Fu 

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Kasey Fu - University of Waterloo

Kasey is a kid from Calgary, Alberta who has big dreams with no time to sleep. In what way does he walk towards this struggle? Perseverance. A strong heart. Goals. No matter to what extent life decides to crash in his direction, Kasey will never stop having a goal-oriented mindset in facing the future. University of Waterloo is where he resides in pursuing his undergraduate degree; Biotechnology/Economics w/Co-operative education is his field of study. He would like everyone who reads his articles to understand that no matter happens, never stop trying to make things right. Hope you enjoy what he has to contribute to Fresh U!

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