The Downs and Ups of Declaring an Undecided Major

The Downs and Ups of Declaring an Undecided Major

So you’ve finally decided on a college, it was a long process, but you’re here. You went on countless college visits, received way too many college letters, felt pressure from your parents as you filled out applications, and now you’re home free. All you have to do is buy some extra-long twin sheets and meet your roommate. Oh, and pick a major.

As soon as you step onto a college campus there is pressure to know exactly what you want to do with your life. But if you are anything like me then you aren’t quite ready to commit to a major. I assure you that you can rest easy because guess what? You’re 18 and you don’t have to have your life figured out. So as a college sophomore -who is still technically an undecided major- I want to help you navigate the nearly uncharted waters of the Undecided Major.

The Downs:

  • When other people tell you a detailed plan of their major and career path you’ll feel a little awkward telling them that you just don’t know yet.
  • You won’t have a group of friends from within your major right off the bat, so you’ll have to wait on ordering a “Quinlan School of Business” or “Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing” t-shirt.
  • The “freedom to explore” is pretty intimidating. Loyola has a lot of majors, which means you won’t be able to try them all. (You might want to spend some extra time with your advisor to get a feel for your options)
  • You might get stuck. Now that I’m going on year two of being undecided I’m pretty comfortable where I’m at, but am also feeling the pressure to choose a major soon. This has made it tough for me to abandon the Undecided Major ship.

The Ups:

  • When people ask you what your major is you get to be creative in your answers like, “Oh, I’m just here to hang out” or “I’m majoring in a little bit of everything” or “I’m majoring in the Magnificent Mile”. These answers might spark some genuine concern, but I get the most worried facial expressions when I say, “Nothing”.
  • Meeting other Undecided Majors is the best feeling in the world because they know exactly what you’re going through.
  • All your friends will try and pick a major that they think best suits you, which may actually give you some direction. (Asking for advice has definitely helped me!)
  • Your freshman year is going to consist of a lot of CORE classes, which is good for two reasons. You get to explore a lot of different academic areas that may help you decide on a major- while staying on track for graduation. Plus you’ll finish your CORE in a timely manner and won’t be a senior taking UCLR (University Core Literature Requirement).

I highly recommend starting your undergrad years as an undecided major, because we’re young and our thoughts about the future change. But don’t forget that Loyola won’t actually print you a degree that says “Bachelor’s of Undecided”. Don’t panic about starting college without a major. It’s definitely scary at first, but you’ll learn to own it and eventually learn to let it go. Who knows maybe next year we can get some “Undecided Major” t-shirts, too.

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