An admissions lie

Despite what teachers or advisers may tell you, it is important to know your major before starting college.

Meghan O'Connor

 

When we are kids we all dream of what we will be in the future. At one point I wanted nothing more than to be a veterinarian. Seeing that I am currently an English major, my plans have obviously changed.

According to a study done by Dr. Fitz, the founder of mymajors.com, 80 percent of college-bound students have yet to choose a major.

I remember the day I sat in my high school classroom listening to college recruiters attempting to sell their campus community to a room full of wide-eyed 17-year-olds. At one point, the notion “don’t worry about knowing your major” was certainly embedded into students’ minds.

This, however, was wrong.

From my personal experience, I think it is vital to have a direction when you start college. If you don’t, you will wind up taking various classes that more than likely will have nothing to do with your final major and could potentially ruin your GPA.

I understand the supporting arguments of why it’s important to take liberal education classes:  one reason being the opportunity for a well-rounded education. But, in my eyes, all that my liberal arts experience has given me is a few grades and experiences I would soon like to forget.

College recruiters feel the need to tell prospective students that they don’t need a direction when they come to school. I’m sure they do this to help with the stress that high school students feel when approaching school.

But what does this cost us? Not only are students set up for initial years of confusion and tireless attempts to find themselves, they are also draining their bank accounts to do it. Over the past 30 years, college tuition in the U.S. has tripled.

It’s important for students who are still in high school to not be fed the idea that they can bum around college for a few years to find who they truly are. They need to start doing that soul searching when they are still in the comfort of a high school education. Having decided your major will inevitably help you decide on what university to attend or what specific goals you may have in a department.

Students need not dwell on making the most money or carrying on their family’s law firm after Dad or Mom kicks the bucket; the decision needs to be made by the student. It doesn’t matter if your final career goal doesn’t happen right away, but being truly inspired by a subject is the key. If you love what you are studying, you will do better.

Obviously most students who will read this are already in the midst of their college career. However, it is necessary to make this problem known, especially because many of us are the ones who wound up with the short end of the stick.

In this day and age, student loan debt surpasses credit card debt. It is becoming increasingly important to graduate on time. Not only do universities model their programs for a four-year graduation plan, but scholarships, financial aid and other opportunities may only benefit students for this limited time. One way to ultimately improve your college experience is to come into it knowing what you want to do, or at least having a good idea.

There are times when I regret jumping directly into a college environment right out of high school. Sometimes I feel that if I had been living at home with my parents and working full time the fire would have been fueled, and I would be a more successful student overall.

Rather than thinking about college as a time to “find yourself,” students should be aware that their university experience will ultimately be improved by choosing a major, or even a career trajectory. High school students should be told they need a direction; a college education is too expensive not to.