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How I Chose My Major - Hope Osborn

Hi! I’m Hope Osborn, a first-year student from Milbank. I’m a psychology major and theatre minor. I am involved with the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College, the Newman Center, Theatre, the Choralia, Jacks for Life and more. I have never eaten ramen noodles and even though I am in college now, I don’t plan to start! I’ll be sharing a few posts about the first weeks of college including my experience, tips, and tricks that I learned the hard way so you don’t have to.

Nearly a month of college has come and gone and I can hardly believe it. I’ve eaten everywhere on campus, I’ve survived my first test and managed to make it to all of my classes on time. In the first three weeks, so much has changed: so much, in fact, that I nearly changed my major the first week of school.

Now, before college, I was told numerous times that I’ll likely change my major once or twice, if not three times. I never believed them. I thought I had a rock-solid plan and I would never ever reconsider it (naïve, I know). I’m currently a psychology major and theatre minor, and I plan to earn a master’s degree in counseling and human resource development with an emphasis in school counseling. Basically, I’ll be a high school guidance counselor one day. That is still the plan. However, I discovered very quickly that I could major in so many different things and still get into the graduate program. Which, like so many other students who reconsider, threw me into a crisis.

I spent a week researching majors, emailing program advisers, graduate program advisers and writing various four-year plans when I should have been studying for my BIO 151 class. I considered psychology, sociology, human development and family studies, music and theatre. Which major would allow me to be adequately prepared yet allow me to enjoy my studies? Can I major in something I’m passionate about, like music or theatre and still get into that graduate program? What is best for me? Do I even want to do counseling? Maybe I should be an engineer. Wait, that wouldn’t work; I hate math!

Thoughts like these ran through my head almost constantly, but eventually I discovered something I hadn’t known before—it is totally OK to not know. It’s 100% acceptable to not be sure what your plan is. I’m definitely one of those people who love to have their life planned right down to the classes I’ll take each semester.

I haven’t changed my major, but I’m not sure if I’ll stay a psychology major. If I decide to switch, it would likely be to a theatre major and psychology minor or something else entirely. The one thing I do know is that I don’t need to know right now. If you’re not sure of whether or not you should change your major, look into it. Read about other programs, talk to people in the profession you want, take some classes. Talk to professors, talk to your adviser. Explore, be curious. It is perfectly OK to change your mind. The important thing is to find out what sets your curiosity aflame, even if it is something you never considered before.