The Woes of Choosing a Major

The Charger Bulletin

by Joseph R. Toth, Guest Contributor

Being an undeclared major, I am part of a relatively small group of about ninety students. I myself am a true undeclared. I do not have a clue on what I should do with the rest of my life, but while doing research I found out from the registrar’s office that “hundreds of students have already changed their major from what they came in as.” When I was registering for classes my advisor sat me in a room with a teacher and about five other students, and he said to me, “My job is to get you to leave this room with a major.” This man was trying to make me choose the rest of my life in a period of about five minutes. To all of you declared students who just changed your major, I don’t know if your advisors got to you or if the major that you picked was decided for you when your parents paid the tuition bill.

Whether you are an undeclared student or just one who is bouncing around from major to major, there should be someone helping you to make sure you are going to be happy with that major. Or, it would be helpful to aid you in picking a major that you will stay with for more than one semester. I know we have our advisors, but mine has ninety students to help and he is only in his office for about four hours, three days a week. I know that advisors in other majors meet with groups of kids because there are so many. How are you supposed to talk to these advisors if they are never around or they have nine other students asking them questions? This is no way to treat the people who are paying you forty two thousand dollars a year.

Undeclared majors being ignored is not only a problem here. I interviewed an old classmate of mine who goes to a state school, and his school has done nothing to help him to pick a major. My cousin came to this university and went through all four years as a major and then decided that that was not what he wanted to do with his life. Do you want that to be you paying back all of those student loans and still working at that fast food restaurant?

My suggestion is that while students are taking their regular classes they should be invited to attend major-specific classes. If they are not happy where they are, they will at least know what’s in store for them in the other majors around campus. Don’t let yourself get put in a major that you are not happy in just because everyone else is in a major. Don’t do it for your parents, don’t do it for the money that that job will bring in: do it because it makes you happy. After all, having a big house is nice but from nine to five every day of the week you are most likely going to be at that job and that house won’t be so nice when you hate what you do every day.  Whether you are a student with a major or undeclared, this campus needs some sort of service to help students to choose an area of study that they belong in.