Should you change your major after your first year of college?

The battle between parents and students

When a college student expresses a desire to change a major after the first year of college, it can launch parents who are paying tuition into a volatile state of mind. This is a hot topic and it often results in feuds between the college student and the parental team paying for tuition. But what might have started out as a good idea might look quite different after your first year in college, right?

Who are you going to school for: yourself or your parents?

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Ouch, this is another tough question to answer, so let’s look at the basics and then move on to your options. Everyone knows that going to college can be exciting, as well as stressful. Your learning expectations have escalated up to the sky compared to high school, and if you have student loans or your parents are paying for your education, it might feel like everyone has you under the microscope.

Choosing a major and then finding out you don’t like your choice can be a reflection on you or you trying to please your parents. But we all know that you don’t want to spend the next three years of your life not feeling fulfilled and hating your courses.

What is the best career choice?

A good career choice means getting classes that will bring you closer to that gnawing dream and passionate desire that’s inborn in you. Changing your major and going with what feels right in your gut lets you know that it’s okay to try something, but you shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re pursuing your own dreams and not the dreams of your parents.

Consider that once you choose a satisfying major, it must be able to keep you interested fifty or more hours a week for the rest of your life. Therefore, ask yourself if you’re willing to sacrifice everything, including dealing with your parents if they don’t agree with you, to pursue an educational path that feels more in alignment with what’s in your heart.

How to Get Help Before Changing Your Major

If you are struggling in your classes, ask the professor if there are any tutoring options available. By enlisting the help of a tutor, you will normally be able to score better on tests, learn the information better and get a more rounded understanding of the curriculum. If your heart isn’t in it and your writing efforts are failing, hire a freelance editor to re-craft your words so you get higher grades. Then, if a tutor is not available, ask around on campus. There are many study groups available and you just might find a forever friend who will help you through this tough decision process.

Do not crack under the stress of selecting or declaring a new major right away. Some professors might try and draw you into their department early on, as the more students they have, the more job security they have. Never rush major decisions, and do what is right for you, not anyone else.

Study during the day. It is best to study when you are awake and at your most alert. Studying at night or when you are already fatigued can lead to you spending more time than is usually necessary to comprehend something. Studying while you are wide awake will help you retain information faster and more easily.

Take short breaks regularly. Studying is important and breaks are too. Take a 10-minute break every hour while studying to help relieve stress. You should always stay with a schedule if you are in school. Use statistics to narrow down your career choices, but not to make the final decision.

The right work path for you is a good match to you personally, not a prize that you win. Never select a course of business or career goal because a lot of your friends are taking those courses, nor because it holds a number-one position on some published list.

Exploring Other Options

Another alternative to explore before your first year ends is to look into being an intern or auditing a class or volunteering in activities that are directly connected to your career choice. For example, if you’re enrolled in engineering programs, but find in your heart that you’d rather work with the public in a healthcare environment instead, inquire at businesses close to your home where you can help out during the summer months. It’s worth exploring your options now, so you don’t later regret that you’ve invested four years in college getting a degree in something you hate or will never pursue.

By the completion of your first year in college, you should now have learned quite a few things about making college go more smoothly for you. This time of your life will be a little challenging, but in the end, when you truly search what’s in your heart and you become determined to change your major, it will enrich your attitude and your life. Use the above tips and you will find yourself a lot less stressed when getting your future in order.

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