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It was my first real grown-up decision.
I know now I did the right thing, but in the time leading up to changing my major, I felt like a weight was being pushed against my chest and I didn’t have the strength to push it off of me.
But I found that I did.
It may sound dramatic, but this was my future. The choice was 100 percent mine, and my parents could only advise me. I had to do what was right for me.
A little background might help you understand why changing course felt so grueling. People do it every day, but I didn’t expect to. Since my freshman year in high school, I planned to attend a university to major in Biology and later go off to medical school to become a doctor that promoted plant-based diets. I had it all set up, and even spent my junior and senior years of high school earning basic prerequisites a local university so that, wherever I ended up, I could focus on Pre-Med courses and Pre-Med courses only. I was so sure of myself.
But two months into my classes, I realized that I didn’t want to do this anymore. I was unhappy. I couldn’t shake the feeling when I attended class or had to do some assignments. At first I tried to talk myself into thinking this was normal; all students dislike class and doing homework. Then I realized I’m not one of those students. I have always been excited by learning and my competitive drive always made me want to get the highest grades possible.
But none of that helped me shake that feeling. Then it hit me: I wasn’t the problem; my major was.
I was scared, but I had to listen to myself. Now, I am a double major in Psychology and Anthropology. I have always craved helping others, and I realized I had it all wrong with what I wanted as my career. I feel medication is overly prescribed (I won’t get into this because that would create an entirely different kind of post). I don’t want to be the kind of doctor that contributes to the papers of written prescription. There are other methods of helping people through therapy, which is what fueled me to land on these majors.
It is a major flip, I know, but I couldn’t be happier. My friends even admit there is this different tone in my voice when I talk about the courses I picked for Spring semester. When I look back, it almost seems amusing that the decision weighed on me so heavily. Had I known then that I’d feel like this now, I would have saved myself the stress. The switch simply requires you to receive approval from your current advisor. They are going to ask you questions to see if your head is on right— that you’re switching for the right reasons, not just for the heck of it. After that, you talk to the head chairperson for your desired major, and they will set you up with a new advisor.
The important thing is that I got here. And that I can look ahead to the future again with joy and excited anticipation.
What a great feeling.