Picking a college major can be as overwhelming a task as picking the school itself, particularly in a large university with many majors to choose from. You ask yourself questions that you don’t have the answers to. What are the possibilities? How do I make sure I’m going down the right path? What can I see myself doing for the rest of my life? If you are one of the many college freshmen who simply don’t know what area of study to focus on, you always have the option of going in “undeclared.” In other words, it’s okay to begin your first and even second year of college without choosing a major.
Meet three students who are a lot like you. All three entered college undeclared, eventually found a major that suited them, graduated, and are now enjoying successful careers in their fields of choice. Read their stories for inspiration!
Chelsey, Art Director
Undeclared until: Junior year
“When I started college, I had no idea what I wanted to be…but I had a pretty good idea of what I didn’t want to be. Science and math classes were my weakest point. I avoided them whenever I could. I was sketching in my notepad one day at the end of my sophomore year when a friend from the dorms suggested that I take an art or graphic design class. I decided I would take an Illustrator class as an elective at the beginning of my junior year and found out that I really have a knack for graphic design. I began picking up more classes in graphic design and multimedia development, and I finally got up enough nerve to apply to the program. I was accepted and made it through the program, graduating third in my class. I’m now an art director at a very prestigious advertising agency.”
Alex, Athletic Director
Undeclared until: Sophomore year
“I went to college on a basketball scholarship. My focus was on basketball practice and games, but I had to go to class to be eligible to play. My academic advisor suggested that I take all of my general studies classes during my freshman year. That way, I would get a better idea of what sparked my interest. The summer before my sophomore year, I volunteered at a basketball camp for inner city kids. I really enjoyed working with the kids and teaching them about basketball and life. By the fall of my sophomore year, it was clear—I would combine my passion for sports and my love for teaching to major in sports communication. Now I’m an athletic director at a Catholic high school, where I teach, I mentor, and I play sports with the kids. I know I made the right decision.”
Miriam, Marketing Manager
Undeclared until: Sophomore year
“I didn’t get into the vocal performance program as a freshman in college, so I came in undeclared with the hope of auditioning and being accepted as a sophomore. I also had an interest in business, so I took some classes in marketing and management. I was accepted into the VP program my sophomore year, and I decided to continue my business studies, as well. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a minor in marketing. When I wasn’t auditioning and performing, I worked part time in the office of my local theater house. I became more and more involved in the marketing aspect of the business, and eventually I ended up taking the position of marketing manager. My job allows me to be around what I love—the performing arts—while making a living!”
Take a lesson from Chelsey, Alex, and Miriam. They are living proof that starting college without a major is really nothing… well… major!