Attending a college or university can be a blissful four years... or it can be path of frustration and indecision. And if you sympathize with the latter, then consider that you might be missing signs you should change your major. When you're 18 years old, choosing a major can feel like the most daunting task in the world. Though you'll be told otherwise, it feels as though you need to decide in that moment what you'll be doing for the rest of your life. It's a huge weight to bear, and if you're feeling the pressure, you're not alone.
According to U.S. News & World Report, as many as 50 percent of college students will switch majors at some point. Doing this doesn't make you a flake or a failure; it means you're doing college right, in the sense that you're really figuring out what you love. An often-forgotten part of determining what you want to do in the future is learning what you don't want to do.
Consider me an expert on the subject. I entered college as a Liberal Studies major, switched to Animation my sophomore year, studied Fashion Design my junior year, and I'm just now wrapping up my senior year as an English major. It's been a bit of a hectic journey, but I wouldn't change a thing. I explored a lot of different fields, and wasn't afraid to admit when something wasn't working out. As a result, I'm graduating more confident in my future than a lot of my friends who stuck with the same thing from day one.
If you're currently on the fence about your major, here are a few key warning signs that perhaps you should email your adviser and make the switch. I've illustrated them with Britney Spears GIFs, of course, because there's a Britney GIF for every occasion.
1. You're Bored
Can you barely focus in class? Are the lectures putting you to sleep while other students are engaged and involved? You might just need an espresso shot, but it also might be indicative of something bigger going on. If you're not interested in what you're studying across the board, there's likely a reason for it.
2. Your Parents Chose Your Major
Even if everyone in your family has been a doctor for the last five generations, you deserve to study what makes you happy. If your parents are supporting you financially on their terms — and one of those terms is your field of study — then consider discussing the idea of pursuing a double major (or a minor) of your choosing.
3. You Chose Your Major For The Wrong Reasons
Many people get roped into a major they think will make them a lot of money. But as the saying goes, money won't always buy happiness. If you signed up for your major because you thought it meant you'd be driving a luxury car the year after you graduate, but it turns out you hate the field, then it might be time to switch to something you might find more meaningful.
4. You Find Yourself Wondering About Other Majors
Does your friend's ancient Egyptian art seminar sound like the most fascinating thing of all time? Do you hang out in the business department because everyone just seems so cool? If the curiosity is building to a breaking point, try investigating these other majors a little bit more thoroughly.
5. You're Not Doing Well In Your Current Classes
We all have one class where it seems like the professor is out to get us, or where we just don't understand the material. Occasional screw-ups are normal, but if you're doing poorly in school 24/7, that's essentially a giant flashing sign saying, "This major is not for you!" It might be a difficult realization to confront, but you'll be so much happier when you do.
6. You Complain About School Constantly
College is meant to be a fun, eye-opening, inspiring time in your life. If you're already embittered by the age of 20, something definitely isn't meshing. You don't have to be getting bad grades, necessarily, but feeling perpetually down about what you're studying definitely won't be good for you or your future.
7. You Hate Thinking About The Future
In a perfect world, going to college helps us land the job of our dreams. If you're dreading the days after you're handed your diploma, consider why. Your three-day weekends will be limited to a few holidays throughout the year, and keggers might become a thing of the past. But if the thought of getting a job in your field of study is what makes you cringe, that's a definite sign that it's time to move on to something related to what you can genuinely see yourself doing (and loving!) down the road.