Natalie Caudill/Dallas Morning News/MCT
Natalie Caudill/Dallas Morning News/MCT

How to make major decisions

When you first come to college, there are so many new things to take in: new people, new places, new lingo and, although often overlooked during the whirlwind of independence, new classes.

At Wake Forest, students take a wide range of classes not only to fulfill divisional requirements and receive a well-rounded liberal arts education, but also to explore different academic areas and discover new interests and passions.

While some of you may know what you want to study, others might not. Either way, your thoughts and interests will probably change, so don’t worry when you feel like your studies aren’t going exactly according to plan.

Fear not, because students don’t declare their majors until the spring of their sophomore year, so you get to take three full semesters of classes before deciding. 

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During freshman year, students take divisional courses to gain exposure to a variety of academic areas like art, math, science and humanities. This is the time to sample classes in areas that interest you, so take advantage of it. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone by enrolling in a course that may seem foreign or unfamiliar. From philosophy of happiness to African drumming, Wake Forest provides a range of unique classes.

On the other hand, you may take a class in an area that you had planned on majoring in but realize it is not the best choice for you because of your lack of interest or different skillset.

Try to keep an open mind and positive attitude as you navigate this process. As you go through your academic career, you will develop a stronger sense of which subjects interest you and appeal to your intellectual abilities.

The convergence of your skills and interests is a reliable indicator of which major is a good fit for you. Although Wake Forest is a liberal arts university, students dedicate a lot of time to studying his or her major, so don’t choose a major solely because it’s what you think you should study.

When you’re in the library cramming for a huge exam, you would much rather be studying something you enjoy rather than something you don’t. A final item to consider when picking a major is whether it will help lead you to a desirable career after graduation.

Your major will not the make or break future job opportunities, but it can certainly guide you to a connected field.

In the end, you’re the one sitting through the classes, doing the homework and taking the exams, so your major should reflect your passions.College is the time to discover things about yourself – new skills, interests and desires- so learn what you can while you’re here and enjoy it.

Freshman year is an exciting time with so much going on, so keep potential majors in the back of your mind, but don’t stress out about the decision just yet. If you try new classes and follow your interests, you can choose the major that is right for you.

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