North Texas Daily

It’s perfectly okay to change your major

It’s perfectly okay to change your major

It’s perfectly okay to change your major
September 14
13:53 2016

The Editorial Board

As we round the third week of the semester our peers are likely up to their necks in more than they can handle. This is about the time you begin to realize your ideal career requires a lot of  reading, homework, essays, waking up for class. Dedication.

But is it all worth it? Will your hard work in engineering amount to a lifetime of passionate work? You do not have to make that decision this semester, but that bridge is coming up very soon.

We are here to say it is perfectly reasonable and healthy to change your major, to pivot away from your original track to find a better alternative. Just don’t expect it to get any easier.

Looking back on freshman year, we seemed to have so much at stake. For those of us who traveled hours away to attend UNT, we were bestowed the opportunity of a lifetime to reinvent ourselves and become new people. That year was formative because it marked the first time we could break away from our narrow-minded abodes and form our own thoughts and ideologies esoterically.

Sure, the possibility of digressing from your ideal career is a frightening feeling, but be mindful that the probability of switching majors is already high. Data from the University of La Verne confirms that “50 to 70 percent of students change majors” by the end of their freshman years. Even more interesting is their generalization that students switch at least three times before graduation.

To this end, it’s absolutely fine if you end up changing your major. High school is a serviceable enough experience to prepare people for college, but it fails to teach them about the infinite outcomes of scholarly courses. Failing to visit office hours at the beginning can later result in failing the entire class, specifically when you’re taking 12 more hours on top of it.

You could also deteriorate your GPA in the process of taking classes to catch up to your major’s GPA minimum. It’s easy to spend thousands of dollars in loans for the sole purpose of majoring, only to realize that you fell in love with another subject altogether.

The limits do not exist, and they shouldn’t because we’re all ultimately here to progress to the next stage of our lives. The caveat that our parents, classmates and selves need to discern is that college is destined to be a “slice of life,” so you should be open to drifting a bit. There is much to learn from taking a random history class. Just be sure to touch base with your adviser.

There will be times where you run into old flames or begin new relationships. You’re likely to befriend different types of people; some of them will succeed with you but a lot of them won’t even make it to a sophomore year. Don’t focus on hanging out with one group of people because they study the same thing as you.

If switching majors can have one fundamental benefit, it’s the freedom to learn a multitude of subjects. UNT’s College of Arts and Sciences offers integrative studies, which combines three concentrations with the ability to minor in a fourth subject. It’s very popular among students in search of easy ways to accommodate their multiple interests without sacrificing plan Bs or Cs.

Comparable to the integrative opportunity would be dabbling into double majoring or simply minoring. Although undertaking twice the amount of 3,000 and 4,000-level courses looks intimidating, certain pairs of majors compliment each other extremely well.

Biology and chemistry. Business and marketing. Math and engineering. A lot of these combinations are “might-as-well” choices because some major classes will cross over into others. So why not double major? And if you don’t wish to do so, applying a teaching certification to your sole major can knock minoring and career ambiguities out of the way.

You’ve been given a wonderful excuse to cut loose academically and become your own person in the process. All fears aside, experimenting with your subjects is essentially another way to play around with your curiosities. Forget about financial hesitations; enrolling into college eats up money to start with.

You were plucked into adulthood for a reason. Just don’t let one single major pigeonhole you from being an educated person. What is the value of a degree if you can’t be passionate about the subjects you studied?

Featured Illustration: Sam Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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