To switch or not to switch: A college student dilemma

Brad Stout

Brad Stout

The other day I found myself doing exactly what every other college student does when faced with a multitude of assignments and approaching deadlines—logging into various social networking sites and wasting time by “liking” anything that catches our interest.

While in this process of demonstrating good time management skills, I stumbled across a post from a former acquaintance who was considering changing majors after having already completed over 100 credit hours worth of classes.

Upon first reading, I found myself shocked by such an idea. Granted, she seemed to have legitimate reasons for her decision, but to change majors after having already come so far just seemed illogical to me.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized how common such actions really are. In fact, many people even wait until after they have already obtained their degrees before deciding to pursue a different interest.

Before he was the popular comedian and actor that everyone seems to love, Will Ferrell received a bachelor’s degree in sports broadcasting from the University of Southern California. My personal favorite author, Michael Crichton, who is probably best known for defining my generation’s entire childhood with his work Jurassic Park, received a medical degree from Harvard Medical School before pursuing his dream to be a bestselling novelist. Even “Weird Al” Yankovic pursued a bachelor’s degree in architecture from California Polytechnic State University before becoming one of the world’s most annoying parody songwriters.

All of these people, along with countless others over the years, actually achieved more success in their lives by never pursuing careers in their chosen degree fields. With that in mind, the idea of someone having a change of heart part way through their senior year of college no longer seems like such a ridiculous thing.

To be honest, switching majors  to pursue truer passions, regardless of how far along students are in their college career, seems like a smarter decision than the ones made by people like Ferrell, Crichton and Yankovic. At least switching majors will allow such students the chance to still possess a degree, which may in turn carry them further in whatever career they decide to pursue.