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Being Undecided

Posted on 2/13/2020 2:54:37 PM by Katie McCauley

As a college student, there is a lot of pressure to know exactly what you are doing right off the bat. If you come in undecided, you assume you will be looked down upon for not knowing exactly what you are going to do and exactly when you are going to do it. In fact, most people are pressured to choose a major when they are in high school. However, this pressure is exactly what leads to burning out. Take it from someone who chose her major in eighth grade: an early decision is not always the best decision. It is far better to take your time and understand what, exactly, you want to do before committing to something you are not totally in love with.

Just the other day, I met a freshman who asked me what my major is. When I told her that my major was creative writing, I asked, in turn, what her major is. She seemed ashamed and dejected when she told me she was undecided, and it took me aback. I wondered why she was embarrassed; it is nothing to be ashamed about; but, then I realized that there is a stark stigma against undecided students. These students are perceived to be lazy, unintelligent, or indecisive; these are students that did not think ahead when choosing their college and their future career.

However, none of this is true. When students begin to look at and apply to colleges, they are only seventeen years old - they are still children, still minors. This is far too young to ask them to make a decision that will affect the rest of their lives. These children are expected to choose a career path, without even being able to take any classes to ensure that they enjoy their future profession?

I told that freshman that being undecided was one of the most intelligent things you could do as a freshman, and I meant it. When you are undecided, you can take classes you may be interested in without necessarily committing to anything. If you enjoy film, you can take a study of film class; if you enjoy the study of technology, you can take an ITR class; if you enjoy French, you can take a French class. You are not limited or forced into any one direction. Being undecided is a way of being free.

As a freshman, I entered Cabrini University as an education major. I took a few education classes, and though I genuinely enjoyed my teachers and the work we were doing, I quickly discovered that this field was not for me. I enjoyed working with children, and enjoyed the creative and educational aspects, but did not like the strict structure of schools. After my first semester of freshman year, I changed my major to my second passion, theater. I wanted to work in the technical aspect of theater: I wanted to do stage makeup. However, I was panicked that I had to stick with this, and was upset to discover that I was not happy in this field, either. Again, my teachers were wonderful, and my classes were fun, but this was not what I wanted to commit to for the rest of my life. It is then that I met my wonderful new advisor, and she convinced me to change my major to creative writing.

I consider myself a healthy, happy college student, and I changed my major twice. I knew a girl who graduated as a dental assistant but began a theater major, and she changed her major nearly five times. At least 80% of college students end up changing their majors at least once, and luckily for me, the wonderful faculty and staff at Cabrini University were able to help me through it. If I could go back, I might not change anything, but I do sometimes wish I did not pressure myself into going into a certain job in the eighth grade. Maybe, with the freedom of being undecided, I would have found my way sooner.

This is all to say that being undecided is a completely valid and even excellent choice. If you are undecided or considering being undecided, you are not making a mistake; this is a freedom that a rare few have. Enjoy it! And know that you are in good hands here at Cabrini University.