Classes, General, How-to, Student Life, Study

Making the Switch

Do you folks ever have revelations while cramming for a final? I don’t mean revelations like “I’m going to turn on an episode of Gilmore Girls now because I know I’m going to fail tomorrow.” No, no, no – that’s too mundane. I’m talking about those changes that will outrageously alter the course of your life.

I had one of those.

During my study session for my first final, I decided that I no longer wanted to major in the program that the course fell under. I came into the program with a very clear idea of what I wanted from it, but realized after two years that it wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t find the program to be difficult, but it became extremely exhausting to feign interest in one course, nevermind the five other credits I needed to graduate with that major.

So, after short consultations with the Internet, peers in the program that I was interested in, and my registrar — I decided to start a new major at the end of my third year. I decided that Literature and Critical Theory was more ideal for what I wanted out of my degree. It works well with what I’m already studying, and allows me to critically engage with different media texts. I’m one step closer towards writing a dissertation about the societal merits of Jersey Shore. I’m prepared because I know I’ll have to do a fifth year regardless of switching programs and I’ll be able to take Summer courses to catch up. I only really had 1.5 program-specific credits in that major. I am more than okay knowing that I will be graduating with a degree in something that I am actually passionate about.

Being exam season and all, there’s probably several of you who are running into the same situation. Especially those of you in first year who are about to finish all your introductory courses. It’s okay to take a path that is different from what you expected in the beginning. Like, actually. More than 60% of university students change their majors at least once. Don’t feel like you’re required to continue in a subject that you’re not passionate about simply because you happen to already take a few courses. 

If you are an upper-year make sure that you are fully prepared before you decide to switch programs. Understand that you may have to take fifth year, summer courses, and compose your emotions because your twenty-one-year-old self may have to be in a room full of second year students. It is so, so important that you are confident in your finances, abilities, and graduation timeline.

You’re not a failure for changing your plans — it just took a little longer for you to realize your niche. I want to use some analogy about the tortoise and the hare, but it’s exam season and I’m way too tired to be creative. So, use your imagination!

Ondiek Oduor