To all of the high school seniors and college freshman who do not know what they want to do with their lives yet, let me tell you this: IT’S OK!! Despite what your teachers and career-focused friends might say, entering college with an undecided major is not the end of the world; in fact, I almost suggest it.
Starting college without a declared major does three things for you:
- Allows you to have an open mind about your career during a time of your life when change is inevitable.
- Gives you the opportunity to explore what your university has to offer in terms of educational programs.
- Prevents you from spending two years in a degree plan that you end up despising (trust me on this one, I lived through it).
My first two years at UT Dallas were spent as a psychology major (a perfectly fine major for many people), and I hated it. I knew I wanted to change my major after the first year, but I had no idea what I wanted to switch to, so I just stuck it out. At the end of year two, I had had enough and walked over to the School of Management. In the advising office, my fiancée noticed a flyer for the Professional Program in Accounting. Given my lack of background in accounting, I thought I had no chance of getting into the program, but I applied anyway to appease my fiancée (remember gentlemen, a happy wife equals a happy life). Fortunately, I was accepted into the program, immediately started taking accounting courses, and school became enjoyable again! Now, here I am, three years later, finishing my masters in accounting and preparing to sit for CPA exam—a situation I never would have imagined at the beginning of my college career.
Many of my accounting friends have similar stories, some starting as biology majors, others as math majors. This made me realize that life has a funny way of working itself out. I believe Greenday said it best—“Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.” You can’t plan the next 50 years of your life at the age of 18. You should never give up on your dreams and aspirations, but welcome change with an open mind. You never know where it could lead you.