Majorly undecided

High school juniors and seniors face the tough decision of choosing a major in college or going as undecided.

This sign shows just a handful of all of the different types of majors that an individual can choose from.  (photo taking from Think Tank Learning)

This sign shows just a handful of all of the different types of majors that an individual can choose from. (photo taking from Think Tank Learning)

Erin Lind, Elder High School’s college Coordinator (Photo taken from

As a high school student most of us face the tough decision of what to major in while in college.  This is a common question that is constantly asked of high school juniors and seniors and it can be painstaking to decide at the age of 17 or 18 what we want to do for the rest of our lives.

It is estimated that around 2.2 million high school graduates will attend college.  If you are unsure of what you want to major in you’ll find yourself in good company.  It is also estimated that twenty to fifty percent of freshmen will enroll as undecided.

Many people have mixed feelings about going in undecided and ask why enroll before deciding?  This might appear to be a waste of time and money.  However, college offers an environment that allows you to explore and also provides you with resources that can steer you in the right direction.

I had the opportunity to speak with Elder’s College Coordinator, Erin Lind, about high school graduates and the process of choosing a major.

“The most common major among students enrolling into college today is an undecided major”

“The good news is that going into college undecided does not affect the student in anyway,” said Lind. She also went on to say, “Choosing to be undecided is like any other major. Colleges look at you the same way as they would a student that has already decided their major. Applying to college as undecided is the same process as applying with a major in mind.”

The flip side to this is that there are many benefits to knowing your major while applying for college. This can help you narrow down what school you would like to attend.  Lind stated, “If you know your major ahead of time it can get you into a program a lot faster than someone that goes in undecided. The downside would be that the student that applied undecided has to work a whole year in school before being accepted into that specific program.”

There is one drawback to declaring a major in your freshmen year, 80% of students switch their major at least once. This can cause the student to go more than the expected four years and extend this time to upwards of six or even seven years. This would of course affect the amount of money the student has to pay. More time in college means more tuition.

Lind stated, “It is very common to switch your major, I did when I was in college. The student does not always know everything about the major until they get into the class room.”  She went on to say, “Switching your major could also put you behind and you could possibly lose credit for classes that will not transfer over to the new program.  Most importantly, you want to find the right fit and do what makes you happy.”

In talking to Mrs. Lind, I learned that it’s important to explore different courses and take advantage of academic advising and career research.  This will more than likely set students on the right path to choosing a major.

I had the chance to talk to Max Hofmeyer, a senior here at Elder, about his experience in choosing a major for college.

“It took a lot of time to think of what I was going to do for the rest of my life.  My family said they would support me with whatever major I chose and they would also help me along the way,” said Hofmeyer.

Hofmeyer went on to say that he made the decision this year to attend The University of Cincinnati and study Accounting.

“I really enjoy the accounting class here at Elder and it really interests me. Accounting is one of my strengths which is why I believe that I would be most happy choosing this as my major,” declared Hofmeyer.