Changing Your Post-Secondary Major
Coming out of high school, I was just 17 years old: a teenager still figuring out my place in the world and trying to make decisions that would make the most sense for my future. I had only a vague idea of what interested me in the job market, and choosing a matching major proved to be difficult. Since I was showing some interest in the stock market at the time, I decided to start a Business Economics and Computer Science double major to match that drive. In theory, following your passions is a good idea since you already have some spark in the subject you’re going into, but you have to be careful that your passion is not just a casual fling that will fizzle out in the next few months.
This is the trap that I fell into when starting university, taking six classes per semester on subjects that turned out to be much more difficult for me than I imagined. The interest that carried me before did not prepare me for the math and theory involved in the courses. Keep in mind, five classes was the recommended workload for any given semester, so the extra workload was starting to catch up with me and I began to lose sleep. Falling asleep in class started to become the norm, making it even harder to complete the work I was already struggling with, adding more stress and losing the drive I needed to complete my assignments.
At this point, it was fairly obvious to me that I was in the wrong place, but some I remained stubborn and only dropped the business economics part of my major, keeping the still-intensive Computer Science piece to continue on with. Even reducing my workload to the recommended five courses didn’t seem to help, as I still just managed to scrape by. There were certainly several enjoyable parts of Computer Science that I really enjoyed doing, but it still didn’t fit right, something didn’t click.
It wasn’t until several years down the line that I started my creative writing minor. There was no doubt that I fit here, enjoying every class and excelling in all the course work. Taking a chance, I swapped my disciplines, turning my Creative Writing minor into an English major, and my Computer Science major into a minor. Even with the addition of literary theory I continued to excel, and I knew I had made the right decision, eventually culminating in an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English, French and Computer Science.
The thing is, none of my studies really went to waste. As a modern day content writer / copywriter, having a good knowledge base in computer theory is excellent to help you understand how to write for businesses in the modern digital world. I can’t tell you how many times my knowledge of HTML and XML have come in handy when optimizing my writing for web pages, and understanding several business principles are key to understanding marketing and advertising. It all meshed together into a unique skillset that helped me define who I was as a worker and as a contributing member of the workforce, and I owe it to the fact that I was willing to admit when something wasn’t working and I needed a change to continue progressing on my learning path.
Changing your major is not something you should feel ashamed of, but rather you should feel good about facing up to the fact that humans make mistakes and that they won’t necessarily get it right the first time. The last thing you need is to struggle through something that you were never meant to do in the first place, only to come out of it on the other side with a degree that you would hate trying to make work because you spent a lot of money on it. Building your character is a part of life, and sometimes you will find that the choices you made in the first place are just stepping stones on your path to where you’re meant to be.
There’s no shame in that at all, and it took me a while to realize that.Follow: