One of the scariest things about coming to college is choosing a major. There are so many different areas to study that you may not have been exposed to in high school. However, I want to comfort you in knowing that at CUA there are many resources available to help you combat your stresses.
To begin with, I am a psychology major studying in the School of Arts and Sciences. As a senior in high school, I too had no idea what major I was going to choose. I had some of the very same fears as many of you and was definitely stressing out. However, as the school year began to wind down I thought about how much I loved my AP Psychology class. The material was very interesting and I could see myself studying it in the future. When I began college I decided to begin as a psychology major. You don’t have to be super sure about your major; if you are interested in something, pursue it. The earlier you explore different disciplines, the faster you will find a major you are passionate about. For me, finding a class I was interested in happened in high school; however, it can happen in college.
So far, I have been extremely happy in my major. As of now, I think I want to focus on neuroscience and neuropsychology, focusing my work on the brain. There are so many great classes tailored to this interest here at CUA such as Psychology of Brain Injury or Brain and Behavior. The other great thing is that there are many different classes and things to learn about that I can explore other areas as well. Whether it be Psychology of Terrorism, Forensic Psychology or Sports Psychology, there are many other options within the study of psychology that are available to me.
Even if you don’t choose Psychology (which I obviously hope you do), within your major there is an abundance of resources. You’ll be paired up with a major advisor who will help you with everything from course registration to summer internships. They become a mentor to you and really help you understand what you are doing currently, as well as what you can do to create your future. In addition, there are many clubs and events specific to your major which can help you learn and participate more in your passion. Many of the same students will be involved in both these clubs and your classes and they will become familiar faces to you on campus. Your major becomes another niche in your life here at CUA and your fellow students provide you with all of the support of a second family.
Once you find the major you are passionate about you will find the same excitement as I did. However, like I said, it is very normal and acceptable to be unsure. You can come here to CUA as an exploratory major, or undecided. In your first year, you will take classes in different disciplines to find what things excite you. You may try out a business class, a politics class, or a biology class. You have the opportunity to meet with a specific advisor tailored to helping you find a major. They will help provide all of the guidance you need, as well as encouraging you to speak with professors and students, attend clubs, and do research online.
Also, important to note, is that statistic that everyone talks about: how many times do people change their major. It is true that statistics range from 50-70%! College is a time about discovering yourself and your interests, so it is only natural to find that your chosen major may not be the best suit for you.
Regardless if you are set in stone in your idea of a major or not, it is always a good idea to become aware of how little your major defines you. Just because you get a degree in psychology doesn’t mean you are destined to become a psychologist. Instead, you may want to become a doctor and head off to medical school. Also, your major does not have to sum you up as a person. CUA has many different certificates and minors available that students can customize their course work to reflect what they are passionate about. You can be interested in studying English because you are passionate about writing, but also minor in Spanish because you love traveling. These extra specialties can open up more doors for you.
The path to choosing a major is different for everyone, but what is most important is that you are happy about your work. If not, allow CUA to help you change your path to become a successful and passionate student.
– Anna Hallahan