Dear Ivy

Billy Ferguson/Fourth Estate

Dear Ivy,

I am currently a freshman Bioengineering major, and I am honestly not loving my major. I thought it would be a good fit for me because I wanted to help people through stem cell research. But now that I’m a little over a semester in and taking PHYS 160, I’m more and more feeling like it isn’t the right major for me.

I have been planning on going into Bioengineering since I was in middle school, and to find that I’m not enjoying these classes is really freaking me out. I have no idea what I want to do now, and no idea what I should change my major to. I obviously want to change my major to something that is a better fit, but I don’t know how to go about finding the right major for me.



Dear Bio-Curious,

Fret not, many have been in your shoes before and come out better than fine. It can be understandingly stressful to have an entire college career planned out years in advance and then have it flipped on its head.

Thankfully, Mason has a plethora of majors available. With 60 majors to choose from, you could base your search for a new major based off your dreams of helping people.

You could also discover a new love like writing, drawing or acting that will take you in a completely different direction.

Opportunities on campus that can help you figure out what you want to major in include participating in clubs, going to events that the college hosts or talking to students about the experience they have had in their major. Some on-campus events that may be helpful are the exhibitions held in Fenwick Library, public classes and the workshop sessions held all over Mason.

What you have that some others that want to change majors right now don’t is time. Some people in their junior year find out how much they detest majoring in something like Russian Literature because they just realized how bad they are at it. It may surprise you to know that over half of students change their major at least once throughout their college career.

You still have your entire time at Mason ahead of you, so make sure you use that to your full advantage. Our college offers career counselors to discuss your skills, personality and interests to help you explore what may be a better fit for you. Also, the tab on the Mason website labeled “Explore Majors and Careers” provides links to countless resources on information about majors, showing both the career opportunities that can come with different majors and the skills/abilities needed to succeed in different fields.

Once you find the major you believe to be the best fit for you, you will have to submit a form through the department of the major you wish to become and then finalize it. Don’t feel boxed in because you just used your one and only chance to change your major. Some students have changed their major up to three times by the time they walk the stage to get their diploma.

You will never be cornered into a major you do not want to be in. You always have a way out, and the opportunities to find the major perfectly suited for you is always available.  I know with the right amount of research that you will find the perfect fit for you.