Welcoming Change — 5 Tips for Picking a New Major
All throughout high school, I was always *that girl* that knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life. I had my whole life plan figured out — I would major in Kinesiology + minor in dance in undergrad, then go to grad school to become a physical therapist with a concentration in sports medicine so I could work with dancers + athletes. While all of my friends stressed about what they would major in or where they would go to school, I sat back stress-free. Little did I know that a little over a year into my Kinesiology degree, my world would turn upside down.
The beginning of my sophomore year of college I started to feel discontent in where I was at + where I was headed. It was difficult to motivate myself to get up + attend clinical anatomy + motor development lectures — my passion was gone. During that semester, I even dropped a class [bye, Chemistry!] for the first time in my life because my grades were slipping. I realized I needed to make a change + decided to change my major to Public Relations + Strategic Communication to reconnect with my creativity + passion that I had lost.
Change is a good thing, but it can be scary! If you’re going to change your major or are still questioning if it’s right for you, here are some tips that helped me during my transition period —
#1] Re-evaluate your dreams
This should be your first step when deciding if changing your major is right for you! Sit down with a pen + paper + dream big! I found that when I did this + came back to look at it later, my *dream* of being a physical therapist was an afterthought for me. I distinctly remember adding it onto my list of dreams after realizing that it didn’t make the cut the first time — this should’ve been a huge sign for me! Above what I wanted my future career to be were things that actually set my soul on fire + based on those, I found a major that’s right for me. Don’t be afraid to lean into the big, scary dreams — you’ll get there one day when you start taking tangible steps now!
#2] Meet with a career counselor
Once I had my dreams more refined, I had NO CLUE what a future career utilizing my passions looked like [to be honest, I’m still figuring it out!]. Most universities have free, on-campus career counselors for students to utilize, so research what’s available at your campus + actually use this resource! These people are literally paid to help you figure out what you want to do with your life so don’t feel like you have to make this huge decision on your own or without guidance!
#3] Meet with an advisor in your desired major
Building off the idea of meeting with a career counselor — meet with an advisor in what your new major might be! Not only do they have an immense amount of knowledge about what classes you may need to take or where you would be in your degree if you decide to switch, they have counseled hundreds of students in your exact position + will be able to tell you if you’ll be a good fit in their department. You can find a list of the current staff in each department on your university’s website!
#4] Talk to people you trust
Consult your parents // closest friends // anyone you’re supported by in your decision — it’s a big one + the people that know you best will be able to help you out + stick by your side through the whole process! When I started talking to my friends about potentially switching my major from Kinesiology to Communication, many of my close friends told me that they could actually see me in a Communications position in the future rather than physical therapy anyways — would’ve been nice to know a little earlier, guys! ; ) The right people will support you 100% in your decision.
#5] Actually make the switch!
This may be the simplest tip, but let me tell you, it was the hardest part for me! I was terrified to complete the paperwork + make it *official* — so much so that I almost spent another whole semester in my old major to keep a more steady backup plan. Take the leap of faith! If you feel passionate about what you’re heading into, go at it full force. You’ll thank yourself later as opportunities fall into place!
Ultimately, your life is YOURS! If you’re not doing something that you fully love, you + only you have the power to change that. Trust your gut, take the leap, + make the change! ++ know you have the entire CHAARG community to support you <3