You've spent the past four (or five) years attending classes and studying, all in preparation for receiving a diploma and entering the workforce. While graduation day is an exciting time for most college students, it may be a day you’re dreading if you’ve suddenly realized you chose the wrong major.
Often, the realization of a failed major selection comes at the most inopportune time. Perhaps you realized it while studying for final exams. Maybe the realization came while being handed your diploma. Regardless, rather than freaking out, take a moment to breath and assess your options.
Calm Your Nerves
Often, soon-to-be graduates who are stressing about having chosen the wrong major haven’t properly pinpointed the cause of their stress. Perhaps your stress is due to worries about adapting to the workforce more so than about the field of work you’ve chosen.
The working world is drastically different than college in many ways and dealing with those changes can be frightening. Rather than giving in to the fears, push through them and find a job with confidence. It’ll likely be an easier adaptation than you’re assuming.
Explore Other Majors
If you originally chose a major after being pressured by your parents and have just now gotten the backbone to stand up to them, you have some options. Often, switching from one major to another halfway through college isn’t as drastic or as difficult as students assume. Speak with your advisor and determine if any courses you’ve already completed will transfer and count towards completing a new major.
Go to Graduate School
Honestly, most undergraduate degrees, even one you’ve come to despise, will get you into graduate school. If you aren’t sure what career field you’d like to pursue, delay the working world by applying to graduate school. This will provide time to figure out more fully what you’d like to do and can be the chance to specialize in a career field you may actually enjoy.
Take an Internship
You should never assume you’re now stuck in one career field simply because you graduated with a certain undergraduate major. Rather, many specializations can be developed from college degrees and an internship may be the ideal opportunity to research your options. If you’re contemplating a particular career field that doesn’t exactly mesh with your college degree, look into internships or other opportunities to help you decide if this is the path you’re meant to take.
Your last year or semester of college is no time to give up even if you’re certain you’ve chosen the wrong major. Rather, push through these last months and earn your degree. You can then begin working until you figure out what you’d really like to do or could even attend graduate school to delay the real world a little longer.
Graduating from college is a scary time but it’s all the more frightening after realizing you’ve chosen the wrong major. By assessing your options and by pushing through to earn this degree, you’ll more easily sort through the mess and find the path you’re meant to take.
Author Bio: Shayla Ebsen is a full-time freelance writer and graphic designer with more than seven years combined experience from her time in the corporate world and through her freelance work. Shayla’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in News/Editorial Journalism from South Dakota State University and a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Organizational Communication from the University of South Dakota. Learn more about Shayla and her services at shaylaebsen.com.