Why it’s okay to change your major, and how Ouachita makes it easyFebruary 19, 2021 - Michaelyn Ferrell
During my senior year in high school, I thought I had to have my entire future planned out, including knowing what I would study in college. If you’re thinking the same thing, take a breath! You don’t have to know it all before going to college.
The beauty of your freshman year is that you will take your first college-level courses and will likely have time in your schedule to take an elective or two in your area of interest. But something that is important to consider is: Will your college be supportive of you being unsure about your major, or if you do decide to change majors?
Throughout my time at Ouachita, I have learned how deeply faculty and staff invest in students and care about their success. The Ouachita community encourages finding a major that suits you, even if you decide to change – perhaps even more than once. Ouachita faculty make it easy to choose and change majors if necessary.
Once I started at Ouachita, I realized there were many students undecided about their major, and most people end up changing their major or adding a minor before graduating! And for those who are undeclared, Ouachita has its Discover Program that allows students to take classes in various departments to explore what interests them. This program gives students time to decide with no pressure, while still completing Ouachita’s common CORE courses and receiving expert guidance along the way.
I also noticed that it’s more common than not for students to start college, realize their career path is not what they expected, and decide to change. And that is okay! At Ouachita, your professors want you to enjoy your major, and many will sit down and discuss your likes and dislikes in the hopes of finding a field of study you are passionate about.
Many faculty members also encourage shadowing and internship opportunities, which give students a better idea of what their chosen career path could look like. Each academic school also has connections with alumni and other professionals who are willing to help students as they pursue their careers. I was able to hear from a guest speaker during a monthly Hickingbotham School of Business event called First Friday, and that inspired me to add a communications & media major along with my business administration major!
As I mentioned, many students at Ouachita come in with one major and end up changing. This is completely normal, and so is adding a major or minor. It’s an easy process; students who wish to change their major must simply fill out a form in their old and new departments and pick a new advisor, if needed. Your advisor is a faculty member in your chosen area of study who helps you choose your classes and assist with making an overall degree plan.
Because Ouachita wants students to succeed, choosing a major that fits each student is very important. Although it may seem scary to make a change that seems so big, just know that at Ouachita, you have a community that wants to help you find your path!
By Michaelyn Ferrell, a junior business administration/marketing and communications & media/strategic marketing double major from White Hall, Ark.