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How To Remain Confident When Switching Majors

How To Remain Confident When Switching Majors


So you finally made it to your dream college, classes have begun and your studies are in full swing. But something seems off. Your childhood dream of becoming a doctor or artist no longer aligns with the person you are evolving into. Oh no–what now? You and those closest to you identify you with your long held dream and career path. How do you confidently switch to that business or environmental studies major that seems more aligned with your newfound interests and goals? From my own personal experience, I know that switching majors can evoke feelings of stress and insecurity. But, as with anything new, the initial change is often the most difficult part. Honestly, I am now 10000x happier NOW after going with my gut and taking the leap, so here’s my 6 tips for how to remain confident when switching majors!

1. Stop Justifying Your Actions

I remember the moment when the topic of “majors” came up in conversations with my friends, I felt this strange need to run them through a mill of justifications as to why I was changing paths–as if I needed to get their approval in some way. But, I quickly learned that no matter how many supportive words of encouragement I got, the mere act of constantly justifying my actions was draining!! *I did end up realizing that I was not alone in doing this–people tend to turn on their “defensive mode” when in the midst of uncertainty!!* That being said, I shifted the routine–if the conversation came up, I excitedly described my new found interest and that was that.

2. Block Out the Noise

This is probably the most difficult tasks you’ll have to face. Often times, people including your parents and family members, or even your closest friends will question you and maybe even scare you with question’s like “What are you going to do with that?” “Will you be able to find a job” or my favorite, “Are your sure?” Whether they mean to or not, questions like that can leave you questioning and doubting yourself, while covering up your inner voice! My solution? Tap into why you want to change majors–you and you alone. Keep that answer in your head at all times and do your best to tune out the excessive questions!



3. Reflect on Your Goals

One of my biggest life hacks is good old self-reflection. Maybe it seems like common sense, but it’s very easy to be swept up in the everyday hustle of college life and to forget to spend some time thinking by yourself, about yourself! Take a few minutes, alone, to remind yourself about what you would like to get out of your education. Throw out the goals set for you by relatives and close friends. This is your life, and you owe it to yourself to pursue the goals you wish to accomplish!

4. Get it Out on Paper

Taking the last point one step further-write your thoughts, goals and dreams out on paper!! I’ll be honest, I have never been an avid journal-er, but after enough advice from those swear by it, I decided to try it out–in a very diluted way! Take out a sheet of paper, or heck!–open “Notes” on your phone and just jot down: 1) Your current thoughts and feelings 2) Why you want to change paths 3) What you hope to get out of your new field of study 4) a personal goal or dream you have that relates to your field. There is something about getting the thoughts out from swarming in your head and down on paper that makes everything clearer and a lot less muddled!

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5. You are Not Alone

But really–you definitely aren’t! If ya’ll want to get specific, national averages have found that 50-75% of all–yes ALL college students switch majors at least one time during their academic career. Now I know I just got done saying how you should not pay attention to what everyone else is doing and saying, but this is the exception to that rule. Why? Because realizing this puts things into perspective! Often, I find myself feeling like for some reason,  the things that I do are out of the ordinary or rare, only to later find out that I know at least 5 other people who have or are experiencing the exact.same.thing. So yes, it boils down to basic human psychology: humans like to feel accepted and a part of a group. So, welcome! Join the 50-75%!!


6. Don’t Let a Major Define You

Last, but certainly not least–never let a major define you as a person!! Though it is so central to your life as a college student, keep in mind that before this whole college thing happened, you were a living, breathing human being with a personality, likes and dislikes, passions and hobbies. And guess what? I bet that when forming relationships outside of school, you won’t be assessing their value as a person based off what classes they took in college. More than likely, your relationships professionally and socially will be based more around personalities and common interests rather than whether someone majored in economics or not.  The big picture constitutes your life as a whole–don’t let a major be the only thing you identify with. You are so much more!

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