If your experiences at university have led you to think about changing your major, you’re not alone. The university years are an exciting, formative time for most students, and many will discover new skills and interests. It’s common for these students to consider either changing their major or taking up a second major within their first year at university. But before changing your major, consider doing these four things to help make the best decision.
What to do before deciding to change your major
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options and are unsure where to start, consider this list. It might lead you to the answer.
1. Ask yourself why you want to change your major
When you start considering a change of major, reflect on the reasons why. Doing so can help you figure out what you want out of your major and your broader academic experience, how your choice of major might relate to your goals and aspirations after university, and other important concerns. It will be easier to figure out the next steps once you understand why exactly this change is on your mind.
If you don’t have an immediate answer, try reflecting on your recent school experiences and successes. High motivation to attend classes and positive feelings about what you’re learning, for instance, might be signs that your current major is a good fit.
On the other hand, switching majors makes sense if you’ve been struggling to maintain interest in your coursework or have been finding it difficult to perform well. It also makes sense to consider a switch if you don’t see a clear connection between your major and the career paths you’re interested in pursuing after graduation.
2. Research other programs and courses
Once you’ve determined why changing majors is on your mind, the next step is to identify additional areas of study that are of interest. Learn as much as you can about possible new majors, including how much additional time it will take to graduate if you switch.
Review the course curricula for potential majors to understand the courses required and whether they interest you. This information is usually on department websites, but you may also want to speak with an academic adviser for more personalized advice.
One thing it may be helpful to remember is that staying with one academic program or switching to another aren’t the only options available to students looking for a more fulfilling academic experience. You might add a second major, for example.
Other options include adding a minor or taking a certificate course to achieve your desired outcomes. There’s certainly no shortage of certificate courses in Singapore for students and new graduates looking to diversify their skill sets or explore multiple areas of study they’re interested in simultaneously. Minors and certificates are particularly good options for students who can’t or don’t want to invest the considerable time and resources required to pursue an entirely new major.
3. Talk with peers and possible mentors
Are you wondering what to expect or what kinds of experiences you might have in a particular academic program? If so, it makes sense to ask current students and recent graduates of that program. They’re in the best possible position to answer your questions about coursework, faculty, and day-to-day student life.
Meanwhile, faculty members and professionals in the field you’re considering will likely be able to provide you with advice about future career prospects you can explore with your chosen major. As for academic advisers at your university, they can help connect you with current students, alumni, or professionals in your desired fields, if you don’t know any personally.
Try asking the advisors to introduce you to someone who can answer your questions about a prospective major. It could be a major turning point in your academic experience that brings university success.
4. Make use of university resources
Changing your major is a complex process, and it’s also a decision that has the potential to affect many parts of your life, both within and outside of school. Off the cuff, it’s only logical to imagine the effect a change of major can have on your academic performance, your time to graduation, and your future job prospects.
The change also has the potential to impact your relationships with your parents, other family members, and friends. It can impact your mental well-being and even your physical health too.
Considering the many potential effects, take the time to make a decision that feels right to you. Don’t feel alone, though, in the process, as the university’s advisors, library, instructors, and peers can all help you. Especially if you feel unsure or don’t have a solid plan yet. You’ll likely find many resources and services on campus that can help you find your way forward to reach your academic goals.
Before changing your major, a few last words
It’s natural to want to spend your educational years wisely, considering that a university education is an immense investment of time, effort, and money. With enough reflection, research, and assistance from trustworthy people, you are in a better position to find the best possible major for you.