Changing college majors: ‘The only person stopping yourself is you’


Aubree Campbell

Students at Chaminade University tells their story about switching their college major.

Jacqueline Martinez commenced her education at Chaminade University in 2019 as a Communication major focusing on Mass Media. She desired to pursue a career in film production but found that she lacked interest in broadcasting and journalism. The 20-year-old has worked in the field of journalism during her high school years at Pacific Daily News. Her status was that of an intern in the teens division where she pursued journalism during her junior and senior years in high school.

Martinez explained that while she understood the importance of journalism, she simply did not have the passion for it. She could not fathom continuing the practice throughout her college education as the communications major consisted of writing intensive courses. Thus, before the start of this fall semester, Martinez switched her major to Interdisciplinary Studies to allow her to focus on expanding her film work and knowledge. Such a decision did not forgo various challenges such as external pressures from her family and friends or feelings of discomfort.

To some, the idea of changing your college major may be daunting.

“I know it’s really difficult to feel like you’re making the right decision because you spent so much time investing towards what you were in previously, but I think a big part of college that a lot of people forget is that it’s a time to find yourself,” Martinez said. “And regardless of your culture, your family’s perspective, your friends… and all the social norms you’re supposed to be following, I mean, at the end of the day it’s what you want to do. It’s your life. It’s your college experience.”

A change in major may hold a negative connotation. For example, some students may view changing a college major as a waste of money and time. Furthermore, students worry about the opinions of their family and friends.

In the fall term of 2020, Chaminade University student Hubert Anton commenced his education at Chaminade as a Forensic Science major. Having found that the Forensic Science major applied mathematics, one of Anton’s weaker subjects, he decided to look toward changing his major. With the assistance of the Chaminade Advising Office and the gained support of his parents, Anton decided to rekindle his passion for creative writing and journalism. At the end of the fall term of 2020, the 19-year-old switched his major to Communications.

“I was a little bit embarrassed, but, I think, slowly though, I am starting to own up to it and a little bit proud of it, of changing it,” said Anton.

When asked about his feelings about changing his major, Anton said, “I feel like joining Comm major kind of eased me into having more relatable people to talk to and make friends with.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 30% of students in undergraduate and bachelor degree programs change their college major at least once. To those who are contemplating changing their major, understand that you are not alone.

“If there’s any time for trial and error, it’s college,” said Martinez.”If you want to change your major, do it. The only person stopping yourself is you.”