Being undeclared doesn’t make you an underachiever

Will Mccarthy

Students who enter into college without declaring a major are often believed to be less driven than their classmates or even disinterested in school altogether. However, many are simply not making a commitment to something without getting a real taste of it. Picking a major is a lot like dating, and those who come into college without a set major are just playing the field.

If you are one of those people who came in your freshman year claiming you had the next 10 years of your life planned out all the way up to your Ph.D. and still have that burning passion for your field, then congrats. Not all of us are that lucky though.

While I was an undeclared freshman, I repeatedly heard a series of general suggestions and questions meant to help me decipher my perfect major like “Maybe take an astronomy class.” “What are you interested in?” “What was your strongest subject in high school?” This “advisement” is about as helpful as those computerized tests you took in high school that helped predict potential future careers.

Now as this lovely footnote at the bottom of this article states, I am an accounting major and you’re probably wondering what song a beautiful siren sang to me to lure me to her shores. It turns out I get an unhealthy amount of fulfillment balancing a property acquisition and determining whether a gain or loss has been incurred. No major is ever going to be in perfect harmony with your diverse set of strengths, but if you can find something that you feel you can put your own touch on, go for it.

So this is my advice to anyone who is still currently undeclared, experience is what will define and shape your career and a degree is an instrument which will open doors to said experience. When your final decision is made, although it will probably push you into a particular field, it won’t necessarily limit your long-term career goals.

However, all undeclared students should ask themselves one important question: What is going to be personally gratifying enough for myself that I will have the ability to admit absolute defeat from time to time and still hold my head high? Overcome this hurdle of uncertainty and I can guarantee you that you will find solace in your decision, whatever it may be.