Senior Advice: It’s okay to change your major

By Emily Hynes
Copy & Line Editor

When I first applied to KU, I was a very excited psychology major. I couldn’t wait to fly through four years of undergrad, move on to achieve a master’s degree in cognitive psychology and, one day, work with the criminally insane.

I’m currently a senior, set to graduate in May, and I am now a professional writing major with absolutely zero intentions to work with the criminally insane.

So, what happened?

I was extremely unhappy as a psychology major. My classes weren’t what I had expected them to be, and I realized my heart wasn’t in it by the end of my first semester. However, even though I knew early on that psychology wasn’t my passion, I attempted to stick it out. I didn’t want it to seem like I “couldn’t do it” or that I was failing at what I thought I wanted to do for a career. I didn’t want it to seem like I was giving up.

I pursued a psychology degree for two years. At the end of my sophomore year, I knew I had to change my major. By this point, I was miserable. I wasn’t connecting with my classes, and I found myself making up excuses to skip them because I was dreading going to them so much. After spring break of that year, I set up a meeting with my former advisor, and she gave me the information needed to switch from psychology to professional writing.

Since changing my major, I have enjoyed all of my classes. I have never felt more in my element; I have never felt more capable. Changing my major was the best thing I could have done for myself academically, and I only wish I would have switched sooner.

My advice to those who know without a shadow of a doubt that they want to change their major is to do it. You’re not failing at your original plan. It’s so important to study something you love and something you are passionate about.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, around 80 percent of college students change their major. They also say that college students, on average, change their major three times throughout their college career. There is no shame in discovering that you don’t want to do what you thought you did.


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