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College has been on my mind since my freshman year of high school in 2016. Since then, all of the adults in my life would warn me, “Make sure you find a nice college! Know what you want to study!” I figured that since it was so early, I had plenty of time. I got busy with schoolwork and afterschool programs, so I didn’t have a lot of time to think about the future anyway.
- Areiana Edwards
Time flew by fast, and it was my junior year. I’d moved to Georgia, had to adjust to a new place to live in, and was trying to figure out how I’d go about finishing high school. Every time I thought about what would happen after graduation, I got anxious. I didn’t know what I wanted.
By my senior year, I had to start applying to colleges. I still hadn’t thought about where I wanted to go or what I wanted to study. Family, friends, and teachers kept asking. It seemed like something I couldn’t escape. So I came up with my answer: “I’m going to major in math!”
But soon after, they started asking, “And what are you gonna do with math?” My answer every time: “I’m not sure yet.” I knew I enjoyed the subject, and figured that would be enough. It wasn’t.
When I was choosing which college to attend, one of the deciding factors was if the school was a liberal arts college or not. Liberal arts colleges allow you to explore outside of your major and take classes that are unrelated. For me, that was perfect since I knew that I would be shopping around for a major. I found that Arcadia would be the best fit for me, since they had a variety of majors and offered the ability to customize your education. Even if I couldn’t decide on a major in my first year, I would have time to explore my options.
I began my first year at Arcadia as a Mathematics major. During my first semester, I took Linear Algebra with Professor Xizhong Zheng. I loved the class. The math was interesting, and the homework, though challenging, was fun. Professor Zheng was a great teacher! But for some reason, I wasn’t doing well in the class. I was struggling to finish the homework on time because I’d take too long with it, and even by the time I was done, I would still be confused on some parts.
That class took my positive feelings toward math, threw them into a blender, and laughed in my face. It hurt. That experience, combined with my doubts about my major, helped me decide that it was time to switch. I thought back and remembered that I’d always liked my Psychology classes in high school and for dual enrollment, so I figured Psych was a safe major for me. If I graduated with it, I’d be content. If I switched again, I wouldn’t mind.
While picking my classes for the second semester, I told Professor Zheng, who was also my academic adviser, that I wanted to switch my major from Mathematics to Psychology. After that, the process was fairly simple. I contacted the Psych department head, Dr. Marianne Miserandino. We had a few Zoom calls where she helped me figure out which classes to take and how to go about changing my major officially. After that, I filled out a Google form to request the change. In a matter of days, my form had been processed and my major was officially changed.
If you’re having doubts about your major, you should explore others. If you have interests outside your current major, explore them, too. Better to make the change than stick with something just because. Your academic advisor can help talk you through it so that you can make the best decision for yourself.