Major Pain: Student’s guide to finding their fit

Finding the right major can be stressful. UNA offers dozens of majors under the four colleges. 

As a freshman at any university, many choices have to be made, and maybe one of the most important and difficult is what major to focus on.

At UNA, majors and even specific concentrations in that major exist throughout the four colleges: education, business, nursing and arts and sciences.

UNA officials said some of the fastest growing majors are majors with more practical uses, such as accounting in the College of Business and human environmental sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“A lot of pressure can come from your parents,” said Ashley Stovall, a sophomore accounting major. “They want you to be successful. They want you to focus on a major that will let you be successful.”

Andrew Sutherland, a senior management and marketing major, said he grew up at a car dealership and grew to love working with people, so his parents pushed him towards the idea of a major in the College of Business.

“You get used to the high value of meeting people,” Sutherland said. “You don’t know anybody at first, and then two hours later you’re best friends. Then you have to stay in contact.”

In his experience with a community college, Sutherland said his college pushed him towards a more general study of business and that it pushed other students into more general and traditional majors instead of a newer or specified major.

Other students, like nursing and education majors, had a certain personality that pushed them to take on that major, Sutherland said.

“It’s helping people and the outlook to get a job,” said sophomore Emily Horton on why she chose to major in nursing. “Yeah, it’s not for everybody. You have to be dedicated. But it’s worth it.”

Unlike the other colleges at UNA, the College of Nursing does not focus on majors. Instead, it has different ways to obtain a degree in nursing and different programs based on experience and previous education.

For some students, there can be calling for a certain major, but they realize in the process of their schoolwork that they want to take it in another direction.

“The main reason I changed is that I didn’t want to just focus on chemistry,” said Justin Wells, a junior and former chemistry major, now an education major. “I wanted to teach. I just like helping people. And chemistry is really hard, especially if you get to the higher level.”

Wells said he would not only get a variety of science experience with a major in education but that the major would allow him to teach in more areas than just chemistry.

“If I’d gone into chemistry, I would have had to get a master’s,” Wells said. “With education, I can get a job after I graduate and go back later to my masters.”

Whatever the reason is for choosing a major, several students said they just wanted to have fun with whatever major they chose.

“I just like to deal with numbers,” Stovall said. “And they say accountants like to be alone, and I like to work alone.”