Ask Madelaine: Response to ‘Seriously Stressed’


May Taing

Illustration design courtesy of May Taing.

By Madelaine Vikse, Editor-in-Chief

This week’s advice column deals with the tough decision of what to do once you’ve realized the career you once thought you were interested in isn’t what you want to do and that you don’t enjoy it. 

I am in my last semester of my junior year and I am having second thoughts about my major. I have discovered I do not enjoy anything about my actual major, it just sounded cool when I chose it. Now I am afraid I will spend my life working in an area I do not like but I’m afraid to disappoint my family by switching majors and staying another year.

What should I do?

Seriously Stressed

I think it’s normal to go into a field only to find out that it is completely different from your expectations. Many shows and movies exaggerate or only show the fun and exciting parts of different careers. It’s easy to be misled or have an idea of what you think it’ll be like, only to be disappointed.

Something to keep in mind is that after graduating, some individuals don’t even go into a career related to what their major was. 

According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, “Millennial college graduates are significantly less likely than older generations to currently have a job ‘very closely’ related to their major (36% for Millennials vs. 54% for older adults).”

So, even if you decide not to change your major, that doesn’t mean you are required to or that you will end up with a job related to it. If you continue with the major you have, depending on what you want to switch to and what those job requirements are, you could still end up in the field you are considering switching to.

While over 82% of individuals with college degrees think that attending college was worth the money, 61% of graduates said that if they had the opportunity to go back and change their major that they would, according to a study by BestColleges.

While an extra year may seem like a long time, I think that going to school for one more year to switch to a major you actually want to go into will be worth it in the long run. Then you won’t be worried about the idea of being stuck with a major or having to work in a career or job that you don’t enjoy.

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