Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions of college is that you need to know exactly what you want to major in when you arrive for your first year. That is not the truth; a large number of first-year students have no idea what they want to do with their time at SNC, and even more find themselves changing their major throughout their undergraduate career. No matter what beginning students have, whether they come in with no major or if they decide to switch majors, SNC has plenty of resources to help everything work out okay! As proof, here are some stories of students who have experienced the indecision that comes with picking a major.
Brianne Barta is currently a sophomore Math and Business Administration double major here at SNC, but she has not always been. When Barta first arrived at St. Norbert as a freshman, she was undecided about her major and future path. While Barta knew she enjoyed math and thought about the possibility of majoring in it, she, after talking with her advisors, knew that it would be best to come and tackle some of the many required core classes and get them out of the way. Spring semester was when Barta decided on her Math major, but she believes that not coming in with a set path in mind was more beneficial for her since she does not believe that she would have discovered the desire to also major in Business Administration. “It was a little stressful when I first had to pick my classes during orientation since I wasn’t sure exactly what to take,” Barta admits, “[but] my advisor helped a lot and I took Honors 101, a math course, Spanish to finish my language requirement, and a core class. After I picked classes, though, I wasn’t stressed about not having a declared major because I knew I had time to figure out what I wanted.”
Ben Wylie’s story starts much differently than Barta’s. When Wylie first started his career at SNC, he entered as an Art major. However, after receiving outside pressure to make his major more “useful,” Wylie made his first major change. He went from being an Art major to a similar major of Self-Design with a focus on Leadership. However, it wasn’t until Wylie’s junior year of college that he started “following [his] talents and … passions,” and decided to change to a Fine Arts and Theater Studies double major with a Leadership minor. Wylie now had the chance to follow his passion as well as get a degree “directly applicable to the fields [he] want[s] to enter,” but he also faced some unwanted consequences in making the transition run smoothly. While Wylie has always been taking theatre classes and inadvertently following the path he would one day take, changing his major added an additional semester to help fulfill the final requirements of his new focus. Despite this addition, Wylie is happy with his choice since he is now working toward something he is passionate about. Additionally, He advises that, while mindful of the consequences of recklessly changing majors, it is important to “make the choice you know you’re going to be happiest with [and to] do what makes you feel whole.”
So why are these two SNC student stories important? Both show that it is completely okay to be unsure or change your mind at any point throughout your career at SNC. College is designed to be a place where you learn both about topics of interest and yourself. There are plenty of resources, whether they be fellow students, alumni of SNC, your advisor, or professors, that offer you the chance to grow as both Brianne and Ben did. While it may seem scary at first, remember that everything will work out, and you are not alone in your journey. In the end, all that matters is that you are happy with your choice of major.