You’ve already invested immeasurable time and money working toward your degree. What do you do, then, if you’ve come all this way only to realize you aren’t happy with the path you’ve begun to pave for yourself? Don’t feel stuck. You still have plenty of options, and we’ve got you covered.
Having doubts about your major? You aren’t alone. If the degree program you enrolled in isn’t bringing you the fulfillment you expected, these are some steps you can take to improve your situation. Believe it or not, you can change your degree up to a certain point without losing too much time — just make sure you give yourself room to reflect and talk to your advisor first. Here’s what you need to know to make it work.
You CAN Change Your Major; it’s Easier than You Think.
Give Yourself Time to Think
Attending college, even just online, can be a big adjustment. If you’re struggling, it’s okay to admit it and allow yourself some time to adjust. Classes may be difficult, teacher relationships may be strained, and schedules may conflict, having a real impact on your college experience.
If you haven’t given yourself time to reflect on your interests and priorities, don’t rush to change your major. It’s important to take external factors into consideration before you decide you want to leave, since stress can be transient and you may find you get better at handling your experience over time. It may be worth finding ways to change your routine or new methods of communication with your teachers.
Even if you do decide your degree program isn’t for you, there’s no reason to feel ashamed. About 50 percent of students change their major at least once while in college. It’s just too big of an investment to spend on a field you don’t enjoy.
Talk to Your Advisor
If you’re looking to make big changes to your program or schedule, you should make an appointment as soon as possible to talk with your advisor. A good advisor will be able to help you find out how many credits you need, as well as how you can reasonably manipulate your schedule. They’ll also be honest with you about whether or not your desire for change is feasible or if you’re making the right decision.
Don’t like the first opinion? Ultimately, what you do is your decision, but a second opinion can allow you to make more informed choices.
Don’t be afraid to be completely honest with your advisor — explain your feelings and your reasoning for wanting to switch majors. Your advisor is on your side.
Choose a New Major
The next big step you’ll need to take is the hardest part — deciding which new major you want to pursue. If you’re going for a Bachelor’s degree, you can usually change majors up to two years into your program without many consequences. This is because students often spend this time getting general education courses out of the way so they can focus on credits toward their major later. Many schools don’t even have students declare a major until the end of their first year.
The problem arises when students wait until they are in the third or fourth year before realizing they don’t like their program. Switching majors this late in the game may leave you unable to graduate by the standard date, which will cost you more time and finances. If you’re having doubts about your major, it’s better to act now rather than wait until later on.
If you wake up one day and begin to realize that your chosen major isn’t what you expected, you still have a chance to find something you’re passionate about. Whether you go from business law to graphic design or music to nursing, there’s no reason to feel locked into any one program. Listen to your desires and follow them; it will pay off later on.
Additionally, don’t forget that you can always diversify your education, including studying for a second degree online without leaving your current program. This can be an excellent option for exploring your interests without as much risk.