Entering into the first year of college, most students have some idea of what career path they want to take. However, for many of them, this completely changes within their first year or so. This was definitely the case for me.
Coming to Springfield College for my first semester, I played volleyball and was an applied exercise science major with a nutrition minor. I planned on working as a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer following graduation. However, entering into my second year, I stopped playing volleyball and began to have second thoughts about my major. I realized that much of the enjoyment I found in applied exercise science was associated with playing volleyball and sport-specific training. Once I was no longer training for volleyball, I started to lose my interest in the field and realized that applied exercise science was not something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Although I had decided that applied exercise science was not the major for me, I still wasn’t sure what was the right major. I spent time self-reflecting, talking to friends and family, meeting with my academic advisor, and talking to a career counselor. The Springfield College Career Center was extremely helpful in this process. It was not too long before I found my niche in the psychology department. I had always been intrigued by the field of psychology and had good success in the few courses I had taken previously, so it made a lot of sense.
Two and half years later, I am extremely happy that I switched my major to psychology when I did. I have had some awesome experiences. I have conducted undergraduate research, met tons of awesome people, and am currently completing a psychology internship.
Here are 5 tips that I learned from my experience:
If you are considering changing majors, talk to your advisor about your options. Your advisor will be able to provide you with all of your potential options, as well as the first steps you would need to get started changing your major.
Utilize the Career Center. At Springfield College, we have an amazing career center with tons of helpful resources. You can speak to a career counselor, discuss career options based on your unique skills and interests, and gain an idea of what types of jobs certain majors would prepare you for.
Self-reflect. Consider your interest and skills. What are your aspirations in life? Picture yourself in a career that could result from your potential new major. Figure out your motives for wanting to change majors. Is it to do something you find more enjoyable? To make more money? Make sure you have the right motives when changing your major.
Discuss your thoughts with close friends or family members. Get feedback from people in your life that have your best interest in mind. This could be a parent, coach, professor, or best friend. Speaking with someone who has your best interest in mind can help bring more clarity to the situation.
It is better to be doing something that you love, even if it sets you back. Switching majors can sometimes mean losing credits, having to take extra classes, or even needing an extra year or semester to complete your degree. This could seem like a real burden at the time, but think of it as an investment in your future. It is far better to take the extra time now to get into a field of work that you love than to end up working for years in a field that you do not enjoy.