Opinion: Enjoy being undecided on your major

Nick Reimann

If you’re finishing out your first semester and still aren’t sure where you’re going with your college career – much less your future one – let me tell you: you’re in the right place.

When I was at that point, I was undecided. I have no doubt that being in that position allowed me to find what I really wanted to do, so much that I rose to the editor-in-chief position of a top five collegiate newspaper in the country.

But when I first came here, I really had no idea what I planned to major in. I had some vague idea that I wanted to go to law school, and maybe I still do. It’s this openness that I think allowed me to really enjoy my academic experience here.

For that first semester, I kind of dipped my toes into everything. From philosophy, to English, to history, I tried to experience every possible route I was interested in, and that’s what I would suggest to anyone still undecided.

That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with coming in and having life planned out. Some people work that way, and that’s fine. But for me, that didn’t work, and I think for a lot of people that doesn’t work, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re somehow behind in life because a friend seems to have it all figured out. If you jump headfirst into something you’re not enthusiastic about, that’s less of a leap of faith and more of a leap of ignorance. Don’t leap too much. You’ll wear yourself out.

So use your early time here to see what you’re interested in. Have fun and also take your classes seriously…but not too seriously. Don’t stress over grades too much because pretty soon you’ll find what you enjoy doing and good grades will come. Or maybe you’ll find your path takes you outside of what college has to offer. Administration and certainly my parents may cringe when reading this, but hey, it happens.

What I will say, though, is that you should identify a couple of majors you’re interested in and take those intro classes. Take that first step into a potential major. Get to know the people you might be spending the next three and a half years with.

For me, the class that did it was Intro to Mass Comm.

I still hadn’t decided between that major and philosophy (or history, for that matter), but then I decided to take the next step with communications writing, and from then on, you just get hooked baby! (looking at you, Professor Joe Duke)

From that point, I knew what I was interested in and found out I also might be pretty good at it. Combine those two and there I went to become editor of The Maroon.

So even though I’ve accomplished what I’ve wanted to on this campus, I do kind of wish I could go back to my days as an undecided student.

Because now, at this point, I do have a sense of direction. Things are getting figured out and that’s left me far less motivation for classes I know I would have loved a couple of years ago.

So not only is being undecided early on in your collegiate career the right place, but it might also be the best place. I know it felt that way for me…except for the busy work. At least I don’t get that any more!