The Struggles of Selecting a Major

Skyler Eckl Volunteer Writer [email protected]

Before the spring semester started, I began to think about why I was really going into my major of nursing. 

I remembered my first anatomy class in high school that I fell in love with, where I realized that medicine was one of my passions that I would love to study for the rest of my life. I remembered how much I loved learning about how the human body functions and the medicines that help it run. However, when I thought back to when I was a kid, when I would beg my dad to go to the same aquarium for the millionth time just because the fish were fascinating, I remembered the excitement I had every time I got to pet a stingray or watch a shark glide through the water. These memories made me start to think.

I thought about the reasons that I had chosen nursing. One of the major reasons I realized was that I wanted to please my parents. 

Although I loved aiding people and studying how medicine could save them, the main reason I had chosen this program and the career path was because I was pushed towards it. This realization made me acknowledge the one thing throughout my life I had consistently loved and wanted to do, which was to be in the water, swimming with fish and learning about the underwater world.

Before this semester started, I logged into my UNA Portal and changed most of my classes. I broke the news to my parents, who gave very different reactions than what I expected, but were not fans of my choice. Then, I went to the biology department to get help in setting up my classes and officially changing my major from nursing to marine biology.

For me, changing my major is a very big deal because of how much it helps to define me and what I actually want in my life. A simple realization of sitting and thinking about what I actually wanted changed my world. 

This was my own experience, but there are many different reasons why people decide to change their majors.

Alyssa Stewart, a UNA sophomore,  has several reasons for why she changed majors, including her career choice and it being what she actually wanted. 

Stewart’s original major was general chemistry before she noticed that the prerequisites for veterinary school required a biology major. Then, Stewart decided that since there were enough corresponding classes to have a double major, she was going to double major in professional biology and biochemistry.

“I didn’t want to give up chemistry, so I just chose not to,” Stewart said. 

It gives a backup plan based on her love for science and helps prepare for future career choices such as further education or a range of different jobs. After graduating, she plans on going to a veterinary school and specializing in exotic animals so that she may one day work in a sanctuary or rehabilitation center. 

“Chemistry helps with my problem solving abilities, which are used in veterinary school to help with medical diagnosing because there is not a set equation, but rather several variables to work through.”

With different people come different reasons, such as with Cale Eckl, another sophomore at UNA; He switched from environmental biology to professional biology with a pre-veterinary focus and biochemistry double major

Originally, Eckl only had environmental biology as his major but then changed it because of his job at a local veterinary hospital. After working there for only a short period of time, he realized that he wanted to work with animals for the rest of his life. Then he decided to add professional biochemistry as a second major because of how useful it would be.

“Adding a second major helps me challenge myself and set myself apart from most other professional school applicants,” Eckl said.

 Having a double major has many more requirements than a normal degree, so there are plenty of extra challenges, but it also comes along with extra opportunities. Eckl says that his main goal is to make himself as successful as possible and put himself above the other applicants for the very competitive veterinary school.

“Biochemistry is the most flexible major to add onto my degree, and is all around useful for veterinary school because of the skills it gives me,” Eckl added.

Biochemistry is a difficult major because it is where biology and chemistry meet for the understanding of the processes of life. It includes genetics, physics, chemistry and many more maths and sciences that all come together to form a better understanding and study. This will help him going into veterinary school, as these skills will be beneficial in standing out above the other applicants and to be more successful in graduate school.

It takes confidence and determination in yourself for any change, whether it be double majoring or changing your major. If you are considering changing your major, ask yourself why. When you think about your future? Why do you see yourself doing it? Are you happy? Above all, what makes you want to change?

For me, it was that I finally realized what my calling is in life and wanted to take control. For Stewart, it was to continue making good career choices choosing both of her passions. For Eckl, it was about challenging himself while still doing what he loves to do. 

Everyone chooses their majors with themselves in mind, so it should be a choice that you make on your own based on your best interests.