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Column: A major change

Photo by Ethan Nelson

When I began looking for colleges in high school, I searched for colleges with great computer science programs that were close to home and weren’t too big. In the end, I chose Bradley because it fit all of my criteria.

When I started classes for my freshman year in 2020, my expectations of what my college experience would be like were squashed. Not only did COVID put a damper on most campus activities, but I also felt like an imposter in my classes and did not enjoy them as much as I thought I would.

Going into my second semester, I hoped my disillusionment with my major would change for the better, but that wasn’t the case. I started to resent the classes I was taking and had serious doubts that college was for me.

I wanted to give up and drop out.

I tried to repress those feelings, but they continually resurfaced so I talked to some of my mentors. They each gave me different options for what I could do but none of them encouraged me to drop out. Some said to stick with it while others said that I should pick a major that I would be passionate about.

I decided that I would find a major that interested me, wouldn’t affect my graduation year and provide me with a stable future. I had three options in mind: game design, education and user experience design.

I saw that if I decided to become an education major, I would graduate late by a year or so, so I talked to someone in the IM department to discuss which of my other two options would be the best choice. I eventually decided on user experience design. Although I didn’t have a full understanding of what the major was, I knew that it was a growing industry. I was also influenced to pick UX as a major because it would allow me to graduate on time.

The first semester in my new major was a blast. I learned so much and it was a far more enjoyable experience. I still had some imposter syndrome because I transferred into the major, but that didn’t last long once I started making more friends in the IM department compared to when I was taking computer science courses. 

Now two years after I changed my major, I’m so much happier than before and I enjoy what I do.

So, my advice for students who might have regrets or doubts about their major is to research other options and see if they can offer you something that you feel a lack of now. Changing majors might seem daunting, and it is. Even though the process is stressful, once you start taking your new classes it will all be worth it. 

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