Picking a major in college is a lot like dating.
Many students will know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, pick a course of study, and go on to a rewarding career. It’s kind of like knowing early on when that special someone is perfect for you; it just feels right from the start, so a long-term relationship, marriage, and family come naturally.
Others may need to play the field before finding the right fit, so taking it slow for a while makes perfect sense. Then things start to get serious, and you begin thinking that this major might be “the one.” There are lots of good moments, but there are other times when things seem a bit off, and you can’t place your finger on exactly what it is that seems out of place.
That out-of-place feeling may signify that you’ve picked the wrong major. Neglect to examine why you feel this way and you could be stuck with an undergrad degree in a field that ultimately doesn’t suit you.
Here are some telltale warning signs that you may have picked the wrong course of study, and how to know if changing majors is a smart decision.
1. You’re always bored in class
No college class is going to wow you all the time, but if the coursework in your major consistently fails to interest you, you may have picked the wrong major.
One simple explanation for being bored in class could be that you have a short attention span or aren’t concentrating enough. But you should have some level of interest or excitement for the classes and material you’re taking.
You should also be stressed out at least some of the time; it shows that you’re willing to embrace and tackle the challenges of your major without giving up. But if these elements are missing and you hate getting up everyday to go to class, it might mean that you and you major simply aren’t a good match.
2. Your grades are suffering
Getting A’s and B’s across the board is a mean feat no matter what your major is. But if a pattern of C’s and D’s begins to emerge, there’s likely a direct, obvious reason why you’re not doing well.
Maybe you’re not studying hard enough come exam time, or you’re phoning in your homework assignments. However, if you feel like you’re honestly giving it your best college try but your classes are just too challenging, your academic talents may be better expressed with a different major.
3. You picked your major without much thought
If you’re still undeclared while everyone else has got the ball rolling on their majors, you may feel the need to hurry up and pick something. Or maybe your parents, peers, or a professor have talked you into majoring in what they think is best for you, rather than what you want.
Whatever the case may be, if you can’t explain or justify why you chose your major, there’s a good chance you don’t have a real passion for what you’re studying. Even if you excel in your major, it might still feel wrong. Your college major doesn’t have to be bad for it to be bad for you.
4. You chose your major for the money
If you chose your major solely because it’ll land you a well-paying job, you may need to adjust your priorities. While it’s always a wise decision to major in something that will provide you with plenty of career opportunities and a decent income, majoring in something only because it will pay well isn’t a recipe for success.
Chances are you’ll get exactly what you want after graduating — a high-paying job, albeit one you’re not interested in or passionate about.
5. You dislike (read: can’t stand) your professors
No matter your major, you won’t get along with every single professor. Some teachers place different standards on their students and have their own instruction or lecture style that might not align with yours.
But if you’re not on the same page with any of your profs in your major course of study — the very teachers you should have a good rapport with — then it may be a sign you’re in the wrong major. Your professors should be your mentors, and you should be communicating, rather than clashing, with them.
6. Other majors sound more appealing to you
When you don’t share the same enthusiasm for the subject matter that your classmates have, you might be in the wrong place. Moreover, if you find yourself envious of other students who are excited about what they’re majoring in, it might be time to think about changing majors.
If you can imagine yourself succeeding and excelling in another major — any major — different than yours, see it for what it is: a big clue that it’s time to start studying something else.
Should I change my major?
Changing majors depends on a lot of factors, not just the ones we’ve listed above.
First, consider your costs to attend college. How much tuition have you already paid? How many student loans have you already taken out? Switching majors can be relatively affordable in the right circumstances, but delay too long and you could incur more debt if you start your new curriculum from scratch.
If you’re considering changing majors, arrange a time to meet and talk with your professors or your academic advisor. They can help you determine which course of study might be a better fit for you in the long run.
With the wrong major, you might flounder and fail, and need to start again at great financial expense. Or worse, you may graduate but gain experience in the wrong field, never enabling yourself to pursue what it is you may really want to do in life. And the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to change course.
The sooner you determine if your major is right or wrong for you, the quicker you can get on the path to a fulfilling life in college and career — without regrets.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.23% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
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