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Feb 08 2017
by Stephanie Treanor

The Truth About Being A Double Major

By Stephanie Treanor - Feb 08 2017
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After people find out where you have decided to attend college, their next question is usually, "What are you studying? What do you want to do?" Now, for most, it is a simple response: "I am studying..." However, when you choose to double major, you find these questions harder to answer and a little more complicated. Although being in college is hard on its own, adding double the work on top of that by being a double major seems impossible. But it CAN be done. Everything you have ever wanted or needed to know about being a double major is here; don't believe anyone else that says it is impossible. 

1. Classes often overlap. 

When you become a double major, often people will ask you how are you going to get both sets of credits done in four years, or tell you that you're going to need more time. That's absolutely not true. Depending on your majors, unless they are literally on opposite ends of the earth — which is still possible — you will have credits and courses that count for both of your majors at the same time. For example, my general education courses like math, science, English and history all will go towards the credits for both majors. You will not be taking the same class twice and you, more than likely, will not need extra time to finish your credits. Finishing in four years as a double major is completely and entirely possible, you just need to make sure you know what credits cover both and spend your time equally in both major groups. 

2. You are NOT spending more money.

For some reason when people hear that you will be double majoring, they automatically assume you have to pay "by major." So as you add on a major, you add on another tuition payment. This isn't how most colleges work; just because you have two majors does not mean you are paying for both. You are paying tuition at the school, mostly based on courses, not by how many majors you have. You will pay the same base tuition and pay by course for some schools. The only way you may spend more money is if you choose to take summer or winter classes, which again is not necessary for a double major student. 

3. You have free time.

When becoming a double major, your parents, friends and likely your advisor will ask you if you really think you can commit to that kind of time restraint. Just nod and smile, because you can commit. Although, yes, you have more courses to complete because you are doing two majors, you also don't have to take a class for each major every semester. Also, your classes may correlate in some places in which it covers requirements for both majors. So, like every other college student, you will be stressed and possibly crying in the library at some point during your four years, but no more than any other student. Taking up a second major does not kill all your time in the day, you will have time to sleep, eat, work-out and have fun. 

4. This does not guarantee a leg-up after college.

Students often think that because they now have a specialty degree in two different distinct categories that they are a leg-up over their competition in the job search after graduation. Although in some cases your second major may give you that tiny boost over someone else in the search for a job, this is not always the case. Mostly what happens is that this gives you a more specialized market to search for jobs that may not have as many other competitors. Now that you have two majors, you may find yourself in a market with 50 other graduates fighting for the position instead of 100. 

5. It is NOT Impossible. 

When people find out you are going to college with a double major or have declared another major later in the game, their assumption is that it is so hard that it is impossible. DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE. Being a double major is entirely possible. Yes, it will be hard, life is hard. If you went to college thinking it would be a breeze, then you're sadly mistaken no matter how many majors you have. Yes, being a double major is hard and may be tough to figure out at times. You may have trouble figuring out every credit you need and getting all the work done. Students with one major have the same problems! You can do it, no matter what anyone says. If you truly want to be a double major, then you can work for it and put in the time to do it. It is NOT impossible. 

For anyone considering a double major, understand that most people do not understand all that it entails. Many students, upon hearing someone be a double major, freeze and think certain things. Most of them are either completely untrue or slightly wrong. If you are interested in becoming a double major, talk to an advisor, think about what you personally are capable of and don't listen to people who say you can't do it. 

Lead Image Credit: Mikhail Pavstyuk via Unsplash

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Stephanie Treanor - University of Portland

Im Stephanie Treanor! Im going to be a freshman at the University of Portland double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a Criminology track! Go Pilots!

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