As told by Tam: coming in undecided or changing your major

Tamra Smalewitz

I’ve been hearing a lot of conversation recently about picking a major or deciding to switch your major. College is no easy feat, and trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life it makes is even harder.

Some people go into college knowing exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life, but others, myself included, came into college undeclared with absolutely no clue. Sometimes even picking a major does not necessarily guarantee that you will end up working in that field after graduation.


So, what’s a lost Ram to do? Below are some tips on picking a major or deciding to switch.

First off, the best resource when it comes to picking a major is the Career Center. They will meet with students individually to help them find out what major(s) could be right for them, or to help them explore different majors and subsequent career paths.

I was told when I was younger that I had a voice that would sound good on the radio, and that I should major in broadcast journalism. So, when applying to college, I looked at schools with strong journalism programs. However, I have also always wanted to own my own business. The problem with business is that I cannot for the life of me do math, so it was never the major for me.

I figured that going into college undecided would allow me to take many different classes and explore many different majors. Coming to CSU undecided allowed me the chance to figure out what in the H-E- double hockey sticks I wanted to do for the rest of my life. To be honest, I still don’t know, but how many people really do know what they want, regardless of whether they have declared a major or not?

Take as many classes that truly interest you as possible, or classes that you wouldn’t typically consider but possibly have an interest in, because that allows you the chance to figure out what you enjoy listening to and learning about. This can help you realize that hey, maybe the chem lab is the best thing ever and that poetry class is not for you.

Now for the individuals stuck in a situation where they don’t like the major they are in and want to switch, here is my advice for you: Take classes outside your major that interest you, you probably have to take credits outside your major and your are paying for college either way so find something you are passionate about. Don’t know what you are passionate about? Well pick a class that sounds interesting or when in doubt close your eyes and point to a class. If what you point to sounds interesting, take it and if it doesn’t, close your eyes and do the same thing over again.

Also, take your time in picking a major, because whatever you pick will be what your core classes are based on. Don’t take too much time, though, because college does cost money and I am sure you and your parents would rather be traveling Europe then spending money on 10 semesters of college. Just remember the sooner you get out of college the sooner you don’t have to be in a classroom anymore. 

My last piece of advice for picking or switching majors would be to ask your family and friends what they think you are good at. Sometimes asking others can help you decide what classes to take to get you on your way. Others notice things about you that you may not notice about yourself and they can be very helpful in helping you figure out your way in life.

Take a deep breathe and think “I’ll be okay if I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life,” because, and listen closely, you are not alone. So many other students are struggling to figure out their way, and you’ll get there eventually.

Collegian Columnist Tamra Smalewitz can be reached at, or on Twitter @tamrasmalewitz.