Graduating from high school opens up the entire world. University students are living on their own, doing what they want and making their own decisions.
The hardest decision of all could be deciding what major to pursue. This impacts the rest of a student’s life and determines what type of jobs to pursue. Lately students have taken a longer time than usual to graduate, which is often associated with the indecisiveness of choosing a major.
Adam Durfee, from Sandpoint, Idaho, is a freshman mentor at BYU. He said most of the time students who change their majors a lot have not actually taken classes in those majors.
“Those who take introductory courses tend to fall in love rather quickly with that major,” Durfee said. “We try to get people to pick their major as soon as possible, because then they will have more time to change it if they want. So if they decide to change early, they are still early in their schooling.”
Once a student has chosen a particular field, it is important to take any necessary pre-requisites. Looking at the application process can more fully prepare students for their desired major. Some majors are open enrollment while others require a competitive application process.
Sarah Brown, 20, from Fairfield, Calif., didn’t have to apply for her major, but understands the difficulty of the application process.
“It can be frustrating applying to a major program and not being able to get in and then not being able to apply again until the next semester,” Brown said. “You have to understand that when you apply, you are facing the competition, but you are a competitive applicant yourself.”
Other students have said the ‘try it’ method has worked as well. Connor Schmutz, 18, a freshman from Albie, Va., was forced to select a major to apply for a scholarship.
“A scholarship opportunity for AFROTC was coming up and I had to select a major to apply for it,” Schmutz said. “It didn’t matter what major, but technical and foreign language degrees have the advantage in the Air Force. I made a list of all these majors and then selected one that I found interest in and seemed useful. And I went for it.”
He said that he later received the scholarship.
Kimberly Rawson, 20, from Rock Springs, Wyo., said choosing a major is a big decision, but if students do it early and then need to change their mind they have the freedom to do that.
“The nice thing about freshman year and choosing a major is that you are not married to anything,” Rawson said. “You haven’t gone far and you can choose whatever you want.”