There’s Plenty of Majors in the Sea

If you’re currently attending college, there is a fair chance you’ve heard the phrase “mid-degree crisis” tossed around. This event occurs after one finds themselves knee-deep in an academic route they’re no longer sure is for them. After going through all the emotions of confusion and stress, you can respond to this crisis in one of two ways. 

One option is to buckle down, complete your chosen degree, and potentially pursue another option after graduation. This is a relatively common reality, as research indicates that 38.6% of millennials are not working in their specific field of study. 

On the other hand,you can decide to pivot,and completely switch majors; studies show that approximately 33% of first-time college students change their major at least once during the process of getting their degree. 

While the latter option might seem like a more effective use of your time and money, it is important to note that there’s a difference between being momentarily unsure of your degree, and being ready for a complete switch. 

 If you’ve experienced any or all of the four signs below on a consistent basis, now may be time to meet with your academic advisor and finalize a change in majors.

  1. Your Interests/Passions Have Changed

If you selected your major prior to taking any university classes, it’s likely that you selected your major based on your academic interests from high school. Now that you’ve completed multiple semesters and taken a variety of courses, your interests may have changed.  You might find yourself more excited about the elective classes that your major requires you to take. This isn’t an issue, and should in fact be considered a great educational experience. Learning what you dislike is equally as important as learning what you like,and if over the course of your degree you find yourself increasingly drawn to another field, you can trust this to be a sign that it’s time to shake things up. 

  1. You Feel Over Challenged

Similar to the last point, perhaps you chose your current major based on how well you performed in its high school equivalent. I aced biology in high school so I’ll ace it in college right? 

Well, not necessarily. This can be difficult to accept, but it is possible that although you excelled in a subject at the beginner level, at a higher level you could find yourself struggling and uninterested. If your grades begin to decline, it  can be indicative that the subject matter is not compatible with your skillset. It is important to not choose your major based on your experience with one class. You can buy yourself more time to make a decision by taking a few different courses in a subject. However, if after attempting several classes, you notice a pattern of low grades and low motivation on your part, it’s safe to say that you and your current major are not a good match.

  1. You Feel Under Challenged

On the other side of the coin, being underchallenged by your major can also be a sign to explore other options. This can happen when your courses do not radically challenge your pre-existing knowledge of the subject, or intrigue you to dive deeper into the subject material. If you are comfortable with maintaining a surface level understanding of your major,or find yourself putting off assignments because they require minimal effort and just don’t interest you, it may be worth considering a major that pushes you to enhance and expand your knowledge and abilities. College is for learning after all, and there’s nothing worse than investing money and time, and ending up not feeling as though you’re learning anything worthwhile.

  1. You Have Conflicting Career Goals 

Let’s consider that both your academic interests and skills align with your major. This is a great thing, but if your career goals don’t also coincide with your major, you may have more thinking to do. This is an especially vital sign to be aware of because if your ultimate goal post-graduation is to secure a job, your specialization in university will make all the difference. However, determining that you want to work in the public affairs field after college, doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your fine arts classes altogether. There is a good chance you have taken enough courses to make your current major your minor, thereby accommodating your academic interests with your career aspiration.