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Feeling lost and confused about choosing a major is an internal dilemma most college students face in their academic careers. Having recently gone through this complex process myself, I understand how this situation can make one feel immense stress and an unsettling sense of uncertainty.

Whether completely uncertain or just contemplating switching majors, it is crucial to prioritize one’s mental health so well-informed decisions can be made about the future. Here is my guide for undecided students.

Exploratory Studies

For freshmen and sophomores who are undecided, the Exploratory Studies program is a great option here at UH. It is essentially a short-term major designed for undecided students. It allows students to explore their interests while looking into multiple paths so they can make a clear and confident final decision on what to major in.

The program offers an integrated support system for students as well as career counseling. As an ex-Exploratory Studies major myself, I am very grateful for this program. It allowed me to focus on taking a few classes that aligned with the path I was considering while focusing on completing the University’s core requirements.

This approach was key for not being behind in my major now as I completed all the classes I would have had to take anyway, regardless of major. Simply choosing a major I wasn’t sure about in my freshman year would have been a bad choice since I was still very confused.

Outside Resources and Advice

What helped me gain a lot of insight was taking several career tests online. Of course, these tests aren’t a determining force but could serve as a starting point for analyzing within. It helps in figuring out some strengths, weaknesses, interests and deeper life goals.

Keeping friends and family in the loop is necessary because going through this process alone would add extra amounts of pressure and stress. Having frequent conversations with loved ones and considering their opinions could be helpful at times. However, it’s important to trust that gut feeling.

Know that we students are capable of pursuing any major and career, and it is your decision in the end. If you feel drawn to a certain path, that feeling should not be ignored as it is likely what you’re meant to do.

If students reach a point of having multiple majors of interest, schedule an appointment with each of the department heads of those majors. These meetings are going to serve as turning points as it will be very informative if the right questions are asked.

A Major Isn’t Defining

It is also essential for students to understand that a college major does not define what career they end up with. Someone could be an engineering student but have a random business idea one day and become a CEO. One could be a psychology major but learned how to code in free time and ended up working in tech.

What you do in life is not strictly defined by your major in college because in the real world, work experience and individual skills are what matter, so students can change paths even post-grad.

The common misconception that everyone has college figured out and knows what they’re doing is simply not true. Each and every student has their own academic journey and career path, it isn’t always the straight line we think it is.

Be patient with yourself and give yourself grace because everything will eventually fall into place. Prioritizing mental health while in a situation like this is the most important thing. Maintaining a balance between school and personal life is key. However, when things feel too heavy, remember that talking to someone always helps because you don’t need to go through this alone.

In conclusion, navigating the uncertainty of choosing a major is a unique journey for each student, and embracing this process while prioritizing mental health ensures that ultimately you’ll find the path that aligns with your passions and leads to a fulfilling future.

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