You may enter college with the idea of becoming an engineer until you take an architecture class and become fascinated by building designs. After taking a few more architecture classes, you decide that you want to create and design buildings as a career, so you change majors (it’s that easy, and don’t let anyone tell you that it is unscholarly to change majors).
Major changes do not have to be drastic changes either. While there are a few students that may change from pre-law to theatre and dance, many students just change specializations within their major or switch to a major in a similar field. For example, a student may enter as a Human Biology major and then, after taking a variety of biology courses, decide that he or she is more interested in Marine Biology.
Taking an assortment of class electives or general education classes your first and second year can give you the confidence that you are in the right major. Take a few classes from different fields of interest during your freshman year. If you are enjoying your major classes more than the electives, then you can be certain that you have made the right choice about your major. However if you take only classes for your major during your first year, you will not have anything to compare those classes with, which makes it harder to be positive that you enjoy your major. So, find a balance between classes for your major and elective classes. As long as you have tested out a variety of areas of concentration and you really like your major, then you are set!
Class electives are not only important in discovering your field of interest, they can also be eye-opening and inspiring. Although I was a Visual Art major in college, I was very interested in the lower division biology classes offered. I ended up taking Human Impact on the Environment, and this class opened my eyes to the devastating consequences that the environment faces as a result of human practices. I live in San Diego, California, and in one of the lectures I learned that there used to be green sea turtles in the San Diego bay in the early 1900’s until San Diego became one of the top producers of turtle soup. No one has seen a turtle in San Diego in years. This one fact shocked me so much that I started wondering how much of the environment will be left for future generations to enjoy if we are already losing animals at such a rapid rate. It was surprising how this elective class, which I was not sure if I wanted to take, ended up being the inspiration for my now highly active efforts to help out the environment.
You never know what you will get out of a class until you take it. So if your college offers social justice, environmental impact, or any other classes that you think sound intriguing, fit them into your schedule!