Things You Don’t Need to Know Your First Week of College
After the early morning SAT’s & ACT’s, the 89th re-read of your college application, the stress of your friends hearing back from schools while your letter of admittance got lost in the mail for a second, and all the unnecessary over packing you did only to realize half of it won’t fit in your dorm: you can say you made it to college. You’re finally here, taking the first steps on a new path to greatness!
Never forget that college is a time for you. It’s not about the career your parents want you to have, the type of fun your friends want you to have, and it’s definitely not about anything your significant other is trying to mold you to be. All your decisions should be made with the idea that these next ~four years are a time for you to learn about yourself and grow as a person. (That being said, if your parents are paying for your tuition don’t be a leech and stick around 3 extra years on their dime.) Needless to say, there will be pressure surrounding you at all times, and one of the easiest ways to trip up on that pressure right out the gate is by feeling you have to declare a major. This is one of a few things you don’t need to know your first week of college.
Maybe you pre-decided your major when you were applying because you thought choosing that major would get you a better chance of making it into the school, or maybe you chose it because your parents told you to, or because it was what all your friends were doing. Either way, if it wasn’t a genuine interest when you were applying, why would it ever get more interesting after four years of more and more grueling classes on the subject? If you chose your major off of others’ opinions, reconsider changing it ASAP. The earliest possible time would probably be over the summer at orientation, if not sooner online.
If you picked a major because you genuinely didn’t know what you wanted your life to look like, but were afraid that applying as “Undeclared” made you look like the opposite of a go-getter, feel free to change it back to Undeclared. Once again, it’s better to focus on your General Education Courses and find what you like in the process, rather than waste your time taking Bio classes you’ll never retain when you decide to switch your major over to Business. Even if you think you have your major locked, you need to remember that what really matters is going to be what you want to do after college. What type of work do you want to do? A major will play a large part in setting you up for the right internships and jobs after college. But long term, it’s not a one-size fits all formula. There’s plenty of individuals who’ve done career changes the same way students change majors.
The secret is that even the most driven people change their minds. Statistically, people change their career pursuits and average of three times in their life time. So it’s insane to think that you need to be tethered to your 17 or 18 year old choice of major forever. Personally, I went in as a Communications Major because I was terrified of taking the leap and admitting I wanted to pursue a career in TV & Film. After two years at the school, I saw how much fun the TV & Film students were having, and how much I enjoyed their classes when I set it as my minor. I caught myself just in the knick of time to change it and still graduate on time, but I wish I had been taking the classes sooner.
Remember, this is your college education, and you should feed your mind with the information that you care most about. I promise it will make tests that much easier when you give somewhat of a s**t about the content in the lectures. I’m sure if this article doesn’t speak to you, you’ll get too stoned one night and a “Follow Your Dreams!” poster in the lobby of your dorm will convince you to do just that.