Friday, April 26, 2013

My Major Wasn't for Me

It is said that about 50% of college students who declare a major end up changing it. Some change it multiple times throughout their college years. I definitely fell victim to that statistic during the fall of my sophomore year here at UNM. For years I had set my mind to being a nurse. I used to watch all the ER shows such as, House and Mystery Diagnosis on TLC, I even volunteered at MD Urgent care for a few months. My doubts about being a nurse didn’t quite become clear to me until I actually started working at Urgent Care and began to shadow the nurses. This is when I started to realize that I didn’t think I would make a good nurse because I couldn’t stand some of the situations I had the opportunity to be able to observe. I remember one time a little boy about 4 years old had to get a vaccine and after about thirty minutes of kicking and screaming the doctor was finally able to inject the vaccine. This scenario not only broke my heart, seeing the kid in tears, but it also opened my eyes to the patience that medical professionals need to have to endure situations such as this one and often times, even worse.

That semester I was signed up for Chemistry 101 and I dropped the class after the first day because of the assessment test. I took one look at the test and remembered my experience at MD Urgent Care and all of the sudden I realized nursing was not for me. I then went to the Sub dropped out of my Chem 101 class and signed up for macroeconomics. I figured even though medicine was interesting to me, I would do much better on the business side of healthcare than I would actually caring for patients at a hospital. Changing your major requires a lot of planning especially if you want to stick to getting your degree in four years. After signing up for macroeconomics, I went to the advisement center and took one of the Anderson prerequisite sheets so I knew what to plan for next. From that semester on, I took a summer and intersession class every year so I could meet my graduation deadline for 2013.

When deciding whether to change your major networking can be very helpful. By networking you can find a job in the area that you are interested in to make sure that that is the field you will want to pursue. This allows you to have hands on experience in that field. Also, it is important that you take advantage of the advisement centers here at UNM because they advise you on certain classes you need to take and what opportunities are available to you based on the career path you decide to take. Another tip that will help with switching majors is recognizing when certain classes are given ie. fall, spring or summer. This will allow you to plan out your semesters in advice so that you don’t fall back a semester having to wait to take a particular course. It is crucial that you stay on top of the graduation requirements for both your college and your program to ensure thorough completion of all the courses necessary to graduate. Changing majors is common and can often happen multiple times to an individual but it is important that organization and preparation are included in that transition to guarantee success moving forward. Luckily, UNM is full of resources to guide you with your endeavors.

Melina Chavez is a BBA International Management Student. For more information feel free to contact Melina at

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