"It's NOT OKAY To Change Your Major"

By 4:56 AM , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A common misconception... and not a very good one. To clear things up- it is totally OK to change your major in college.

You know the major/ career path you've had in mind since you were a freshman in high school? You've dreamt about this since you were a child and for some dang reason you're having second thoughts. Never in a million years did you think you'd have a change of heart regarding your dream. But it happens, and it happens a lot. 

To make you feel better, here's some food for thought: "Nationwide, approximately 80 percent of students change their majors in college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which also indicates that students will change their major an average of three times." 

That's more than three quarters of students in college! 80 percent! 
I'm here to let you know that it is OK to change your major and your career path- even if you are a 3rd year. 

     I am currently a junior in college at The University of Michigan- Flint campus. I attended Saginaw Valley State University my first two years and decided to officially enroll as a transfer student at U of M Flint... this was a tough decision. What was an even more difficult decision- was my choice to change my major. 
     Ever since I was a little girl I had dreamed of becoming a nurse. My mother is a nurse and my grandmother was a nurse. It was meant to be, I was destined to get a degree in nursing. So in high school I went to a technical education center half of the day (1st through 3rd hour) and took nurse aide classes. Through my nurse aide program I became certified in CPR, AED, and first aid. I also became familiar with medical terminology and obtained my certification for that. I did clinical's at a couple different nursing homes and a hospital. After completing my 10 month course I took the state board test and became a CNA (Certified Nurse Aide). Then I obtained my first internship as a Pediatric Nurse Aide in a pediatrician's office. I worked alongside a doctor and 3 other Medical Assistants during my senior year of high school. I enjoyed it very much, so much in fact that I decided to go to college to become a nurse.

     My first year of college was... rough. It was fun, but definitely rough. I lived on campus and met a lot of people. A lot of the girls I was friends with were going to school for nursing. This made it that much easier to make friends. Nursing was- and still is- a very sought after field. Because of this, it made it very easy to make friends.
     My second year of college was when reality hit. The summer before my second year I was working at local a Nursing and Rehab home. I loved it. I loved working with the elderly and I loved talking with them. They were like my friends- my friends with dementia- but my friends. I was occasionally scolded for talking to the residents and having conversations- even when there wasn't much to do. I felt that it was my job to care for these people... after all they are just people, like you an me. I loved listening to the residents and helping them with their internal struggles. Unfortunately, I just couldn't do my job as a CNA if I wanted to listen and talk with the elderly. This is when it really hit me. I knew that this field wasn't right for me. Although I feel like I would make a pretty good nurse, I knew that I wouldn't be able to give my 100% dedication to clinical work. I enjoyed helping these people mentally more than anything else. After a lot, and I mean A LOT of hard thinking and consideration I decided that psychology was the field for me. Psychology is my passion- learning about the brain, how it works, what I can do to help others with mental disorders and how I can counsel those in need. 

     I cannot even express the amount of guilt I felt for wanting to change my major. I didn't even want to tell my parents. I didn't want them to look down upon me or be disappointed. The only two thoughts that kept racing through my mind were "What will others think of me?" and "Will my family be okay with this?"

Chances are, if you are thinking of changing your major- these thoughts are racing through your mind also. First I want to say, NO. 

Do not let this influence your choice. After all it is your choice, right?

Luckily my parents were totally supportive and praised me for doing what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, not everybody will get the same love and support from their family as I did. Please do not let that stop you from following your dreams. If you started out as an engineering major, then later come to the conclusion that engineering isn't for you and that you'd much rather be a high school teacher... then do it. Become the best high school teacher you can be. If you're dad is an amazing engineer or your mom is the best bank manager around, that doesn't mean that it's your destiny to follow in their footsteps. They each made their own choices! Now it's your turn to make yours. 

"But teachers don't even make a lot of money...
If money is all you're worried about, then just go for the engineering job. But if you'd much rather be happy with what you are doing for the rest of your life, then go with your gut. Go with the major/ field that you'd be happiest in. Choose to do what you're passionate about. Coming from somebody whose major does not make a lot of money- unless you have a masters or doctoral degree- do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. I'm sure you've heard that a million times. But it is true. Do not waste your time and your money on a major that you do not and will not enjoy. In my opinion that is a waste of your precious time here on Earth. Do what you love and don't second guess it. If we all were in it for the money we'd go to school 10 more years to become medical doctors or engineers. But that is not always the case. If you love engineering or if you love the medical field then maybe those fields are right for you. Maybe you're passionate about that. But not everybody is... that is the point I am trying to make. Do what you are passionate for.

"Why would you do that? How are you going to pay off your student loans?"
Refer to the paragraph above. Do not worry about paying off your student loans just yet. You're still in school and you're still studying every single day. Please DO NOT worry about how you're going to pay off your student loans. For your comfort (and possibly your nagging parents and in-laws) there are a whole lot of options for student loan repayment. If you constantly worry about the money aspect of your education, then what kind of education are you really receiving? Trust me, I understand that money is important- especially when you don't have a lot of it. I come from a family of 7- I am the oldest of 5 kids and the first to go off to college. I understand that loans and money are important aspects of college and that some students cannot get loans as easily as others and that's another problem. But what I am getting at is that I personally believe that loans and other forms of money aren't nearly as important as the education you are getting and the passion that you are pursuing. In my opinion, education is of utmost importance.

"Do what you love and the money will follow." -Marsha Sinetar
"Follow you passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don't let anyone limit your dreams." -Donovan Bailey

I believe in you, you should too.


Christiana ♥

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