Major Mixed Signals

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I have switched majors more than anyone I know.  I maintain my innocence in the situation, always blaming my indecisiveness on my school.  Here at NYU, every journalism major is required to have a second major, which is where all of my problems with switching majors stem from.

It seems that most of the people I met when I first came to school had no idea what they were studying.  As the first semester passed, everyone got some idea of what they wanted to do and declared a major.  I was still lost.  According to, 60% of all college students change their major.  So, I decided to just pick something after first semester and try it out, thinking I could always just change it.

My first, second major was English.  I felt good about it; I thought it was something I definitely wanted to do.  I took the first English requirement my second semester – Literary Interpretation – and hated it.  When I saw the next required class was British Literature I knew I had to switch majors.

I went to my counselor and told her I wanted to switch.  I told her I really enjoyed History and she told me History is the most common second major for Journalism students.  I decided I would be a history major.  I took one History elective called the Social History of New York City.  It was miserable. I had never sat through such a boring class in my life.  So I went back to my counselor the following week.  Luckily for me, she was completely helpful and supportive in my major crisis.  I would suggest looking to switch counselors if yours isn’t the same!  As a student you should have access to a counselor who will, as their job implies, counsel you.  If you feel like yours isn’t doing that, don’t hesitate to speak up!

So I was a junior who still didn’t have any idea what my second major would be.  I mapped out the requirements for everything I even remotely had an interest in – Art, Music, Cinema Studies, Linguistics.  But none of them appealed to me in the long run.  I took some electives in the German department because I had always enjoyed German Literature (Goethe!) when suddenly, it hit me: I should be a German major.

Luckily for me I had taken German all throughout high school and still had a pretty good grasp on the language.  My stowed away skills allowed me to skip the first two levels of the language classes.

It was second semester of junior year that I took my first German class.  Though I was incredibly late to the major game, I am still able to graduate on time.  So if you’re thinking about changing your major, don’t think it’s too late!

 Make sure that you keep in touch with your counselor.  They’ll know what’s possible within your remaining time frame and keep you on the right path!  Other helpful tricks I learned along the way: keep a small notebook of all the majors that interest you.  Look on your school’s website for the required classes for each major.  When they’re all down in once place, you’ll be able to concretely see what you can and cannot do. 

Junior > Journalism > New York University

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