This week the Tribune is introducing a new advice column answering questions submitted by McGill students. Got problems? E-mail us at [email protected]
I’m in my third year at McGill, going into my last year of undergrad next year, and I absolutely despise my major. I’ve considered switching before, but don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted two years, let alone three. That being said, I am absolutely sure that I don’t want to go into psychology. Well, pretty sure. Should I just bite the bullet, finish out my degree, and try to figure out a different career path after graduation, or should I switch my major and just stay for another year—or more?
—Sick of Psych
Dear Sick of Psych,
Don’t worry, you are not alone! Many have experienced doubt; about their major or program. My advice for you is to figure out the opportunities you have for your future if you do stay with this major. Try visiting McGill CaPS (Career Planning Service) online, or in the Brown Student Service Building; they provide services from revising your CV to helping you plan your career after graduation. Also see what else you can find out online, and talk it over with your family. There may be more opportunities with your degree than what you have imagined!
That said, if you can’t stand your major and want to switch, make sure you think it through again before you make this choice. Talk to more advisors, family, and friends about your decision. If you want more information about a specific major or path, don’t hesitate to talk it through with a professor in that department. They can give you first-hand information, and advice on possible career paths with a degree in that particular program. After all, chances are, they went through the same four-year undergraduate degree that you are in right now.
Also do some research on your own before switching programs. In addition to checking out the possible careers associated with a new degree, look at the required courses. Are the courses offered interesting to you in any way? After all, you don’t want to go through the same problem a year into the degree. And as you mentioned, there’s nothing bad about staying at McGill for an extra year, as long as it’s feasible for you financially. Looking back 20 years from now, you will probably find that staying an extra year in university to figure out what you really wanted was worth it. My best advice to you is to think through your options before you make a decision, talk to more people, and decide what’s best for you—not for grad schools, future employers, or your peers. Trust yourself, and best of luck to you!