Editorial, Opinion, Orientation Guide 2015

EDITORIAL: Advice for undeclared students

It’s the inevitable, age-old question: What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

We hear it at Thanksgiving dinners, holiday parties, graduation gatherings, and even from the customers who come through our lines at our summer jobs. And many of us don’t have the answer.

As orientation season approaches, students are faced with the daunting task of choosing a major — something that is intended to set you on a focused career path and train you to become the best in your chosen field.

But we’ll let you in on a little secret: most people have no idea what they want to do with the rest of their lives. So if you haven’t declared a major, you are certainly not alone.

In fact, according to the Boston University Center for Career Development, educational “growth, change, and discovery” can provide you with a more “fulfilling academic experience.” In 2014, The Daily Free Press reported that about 22 percent of the BU Class of 2018 were entering the College of Arts and Sciences without a declared major.

Entering undeclared could actually be more beneficial than entering with a chosen major. As an undeclared student, you have the opportunity to take as many classes in as many different fields as you desire in order to find the right fit for you. Declared students, on the other hand, have a more fixed curriculum in which they study. Changing majors then becomes slightly more difficult.

But obviously, nothing is impossible. Many of us have declared majors, studied for a semester or two and entirely changed our minds. One might begin as a journalism major and make a 180 degree switch to a public relations major. Another may start in a communication field, such as film and television, and decide at the end of their freshman year that they instead long to be a biology major. BU faculty is ready and willing to help you succeed in a transition to any major you choose, whether that be at the start of your freshman year or at the start of your sophomore year.

Because undeclared students can remain undecided until the second semester of sophomore year, you have plenty of time to dabble in different areas of study. Boston University is your oyster. So take advantage of it! Meet people. Join clubs. Get involved in as many things as possible.

One of the best ways to do this is to attend SPLASH, a club fair that takes place in early September. Here, there is truly something for everyone. Do you like belly dancing? There’s a club for it. Anime? There’s one for that, too. Knitting for the homeless? You bet.

Not only is BU your playground, but Boston is your home. Make a point to get lost every now and then. You just may find your calling.

We know that the first semester of college is scary. Some of us have changed our majors three or four times. Just remember one thing: this is NORMAL. As normal as eating in the dining hall or taking the BU shuttle to class will become. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can, meet as many people as possible, and most importantly, have a fantastic time.

This isn’t a plug for BU, nor for the Student Activities Office. We have been where you are, and we know that anxious feeling. But in reality, getting involved really is the best way to find what you enjoy.

And we promise: 0 percent of students graduate without a chosen major. You have time to worry about something else for a bit.

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