It’s Okay to Be Undecided

One of the scariest things about declaring a major prior to starting classes at WSU was the fact that I knew I wasn’t done growing up yet. When WSU asked me to declare a major I felt like they were asking me to decide the rest of my life right then and there.

In the end, I just picked a major that I thought would make me happy. I chose elementary education, like so many other WSU incoming and current students. Even though I’ve long since changed my major, I don’t regret starting out with this major. It got me to where I am today. But, I do wish someone had assured me early on that it’s okay to change your major.

Thankfully, WSU has provided a supportive environment. Undeclared students are welcomed and encouraged to explore their options. Professors are often eager to answer any questions a student has about a program or class. But, since I didn’t come to WSU as an undecided student my freshman year, I didn’t know about a lot of that.

It’s Okay to Change Your Major

During my freshman year, I was under the impression that changing my major would mean starting over and graduating years after everyone else. I spent most of freshman year wondering what I had gotten myself into. It wasn’t until a conversation with an older co-worker revealed that it was incredibly common for college students to change their majors. This co-worker had certainly done it more than once and he was about to graduate.

Talking with my co-worker was all it took for me to realize it was okay, so I quickly declared an English Writing major and started my sophomore year off right. Since then, I’ve played around with majors and minors of different sorts, including geoscience, Spanish, creative writing and child advocacy. I’ve settled on an English Writing major with a geoscience minor and I love it!

It’s Okay to Be Like Everyone Else

I’m not the only student who has made some major changes throughout their college career. I interviewed Mariah Tweed to get her take on major changes and finding happiness in college. Like me, she started off as an elementary and early childhood education major but as a second semester senior, she decided to change her major to one that focused on residence life and student affairs. She was a Resident Assistant for two years and is currently the Assistant Hall Director in Sheehan Hall.

Mariah found that her passion was better served through her on-campus job than through the prospect of teaching and education related courses. For this reason, she made the decision to change her major. She switched to an individualized studies program. This program, in Mariah’s case, allows her to use all the education classes she took as a base for her major while adding classes that shift the program’s focus from teaching to student affairs.

Even though it’s so close to her graduation date, the change hasn’t pushed her graduation off. While describing her situation, it was clear that she was truly enjoying the changes she had made. She loves the classes she gets to take now and looks forward to a career in student affairs.

It’s Okay to Seek Happiness

When I asked what she would tell other students about declaring or changing majors, Mariah said, “if you have a major that you like then go for it, do it, but don’t feel guilty if you change it … don’t feel shame for not being 100% certain in your major because lots of people change it.”

This is a public service announcement to all WSU students – find your happiness and don’t be afraid to change your major. If these stories don’t convince you, go talk to your advisors, classmates, co-workers, TAs and professors. I doubt you will have trouble finding someone who hasn’t changed their major at least once, if not more.

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