My First Year: Picking a Major

by · October 18, 2017


Today on the blog, we hear from Mount freshman Daniel Mendez, who tells us about what it’s like to change majors.

Hello, my name is Daniel Mendez. I am a freshman here at the Mount with a major in Biology, but am currently looking to change to something else next semester. Only being a freshman in college, I have a whole lot to learn about many things, including maintaining a good academic standing, being responsible for all the tasks I have to complete, and most importantly, managing my time wisely. However, one thing I have learned about college in my first few weeks here at the Mount is something that is very crucial to overall success not only in college but also in life: I learned how important the decision is when selecting a major.

Before I began the whole college search process in my junior year of high school, I had a little difficulty deciding what kind of career I wanted to pursue and what field I wanted to major in. Just looking at all of the choices at all these different schools was so overwhelming, and it was maybe the toughest decision of my life. Without really thinking it through carefully, I chose Biology as my major to pursue a career in the health field. My mother graduated from the Mount’s Nursing program, and I figured I would try to follow in her footsteps by doing something in the health field as well, particularly Physical Therapy. I kind of liked science in high school, and it was one of my better subjects so I thought that I would enjoy being a science major in college.

Finally college started, and I was beginning my classes. Everything was going pretty smoothly until I was introduced to my first-ever biology lab. Now, when I was in high school, we would have a lab period in science every other day and would meet for 40 minutes at a time. This lab in college is three hours long, but only once a week throughout the semester. My professor is really nice and super helpful when it comes to all of this, but after performing my first lab exercise, I came to a stunning realization – This type of material did not really interest me as I thought it would, and I did not feel like I was really gaining anything from it or enjoying it.

I shook it off at first telling myself, “Oh, it’s only the first day of lab; you’ll be fine,” but as the weeks passed, this feeling just kept getting stronger. By the time I had performed my first lab and wrote up a lab report, I decided that I needed to change majors. I just didn’t really like it as much as I thought I would, and when it comes to college majors, it is crucial to enjoy it. This field just wasn’t for me, and I really didn’t feel interested or compelled about all the science. Overall, I just didn’t feel happy.

At that moment, I decided to look into changing my major. I am very grateful that I caught this early because if you don’t like what your career and major is all about, you are just going to be miserable throughout your studies and your career, and no one wants that at all.

Before picking a major, you should do research on what it fully requires and make sure that this is what you want to do. You need to feel happy about your major and your career so you can be happy in life. I realized that science was not for me, but did not do enough background research on biology or physical therapy to understand that before choosing a major. It may take lots of time and effort, but I know I will find the right career and major that will make me happy. Right now I am looking into four different majors, each of which have their own quality that sparks an interest in me and has the potential for something great. Selecting a college major is very important in your career, and I feel that my decision to switch will only impact me positively and keep me moving forward.

To those who are unsure of a major or not liking their current one, just think of something you enjoy the most or are interested in learning about, and look for a major that has all those things you enjoy. I picture college being a whole lot easier and more enjoyable when you are in a major you love and are happy about your potential career. For those who are unsure, the possibilities are endless, and the choice is yours.

At Mount Saint Mary College, the Office of Student Success is here to help students succeed. Whether you come in undeclared or are wishing to change your major once you’re here, our Academic Coaches can help you find the best major and career path for you. Every Mount freshman is assigned an Academic Coach to assist with majors and any other transitions that arise when going from high school to college. For more information on the Office of Student Success, visit msmc.edu/oss.