Column: Normalize changing your mind, and your major


Courtesy of GVSU

Maddie Zimmerman, Columnist

Up until the moment you go to college, you’re asked a million questions. Most of them are along the lines of ‘which college,’ ‘have you applied yet’ and ‘why do you want to go to that school.’

The most common one is about your major. Even when you’re in college, it seems like that’s the one common-ground question that everyone asks. Whenever you’re introduced in college, your major comes up right after you say your full name.

Because choosing your major is so important, a lot of people think they have to choose it before they finish high school. And they’re wrong. 

When I was a junior in high school I had a completely different thought process than I do now. I wore different styled clothes, was friends with different types of people, thought differently and definitely wouldn’t have chosen my current major. 

When I was a junior in high school, I was convinced that I had to be a nurse. I had heard about what a great career it was, what great money they make and that I’d be perfect for it. Then, I went and shadowed a neonatal nurse. When I didn’t see myself doing that in the future, I changed my mind.

Senior year, my friend convinced me to explore my passions and to not listen to anyone else’s opinions on what I should major in. I was almost 100% sure that I was going to become a marine biologist and live in Florida for the rest of my life.

I had a huge reality check when I decided to go to Grand Valley State University. One, there are no oceans in Michigan and two, there is no marine biology major at GVSU.

I soon decided to major in Biology instead as a close second option. After freshman year, you guessed it, I changed my major to a general business and administration major with a writing minor. And I’m still exploring different routes. 

There’s no perfect major for a lot of people. You may have interests that aren’t necessarily jobs. You want to go into a job that doesn’t make enough money, in your eyes. There’re a million different reasons that play into making your decision on choosing your major. It’s okay to change your mind. You’re only 17 or 18 years old when you enter college.

It’d be weird if you didn’t have new interests and hobbies when you went out into the real world. The ages 17 and 22 are completely different and equally crucial stages in your life. It’s okay to grow out of a passion. You’ll always find a new one — I promise.

Talk to the students around you and you’d be surprised at how many of them have either changed their major or at least contemplated doing so. This needs to be normalized. When you feel lost, there are thousands of other students at just your university alone that feel the exact same way.

You’re not alone in feeling this way. The world makes it seem like you’re required to have the rest of your life perfectly planned out and curated. That’s so far from the truth. You have time to change your mind. You’re growing as a person; your mind is actively developing. Every student goes through a huge decision-making process when it comes down to choosing your major. It’s as okay to change your major as much as it is to change your mind.