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Still without a major at the end of freshman year

Waitingfor2013Waitingfor2013 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
edited June 2008 in Parents Forum
That on itself would be okay, but DS doesn't seem to know what he will end up doing. There is one career only that he says he is likely to pursue (Economics), but although he has taken some 4 classes who may have informed him a bit about it, I don't think he really knows what it would mean to choose that major. I would like to be able to guide and help him a bit, but he is not being receptive, and tries to dismiss any concerns. Isn't it time to start seriously thinking about it?
Post edited by Waitingfor2013 on

Replies to: Still without a major at the end of freshman year

  • ticklemepinkticklemepink Registered User Posts: 2,764 Senior Member
    He should START thinking for sure in the fall as he'll need to seek out a major advisor in the department that he'll get along with and who can support him (and make sure he does fulfill all the requirements). Ask him if there were other classes besides econ that he liked.

    He already took 4? How many does the department require? If only at least 4-5 to go, he could declare major in that for now and go on track. That'd leave room for another major (or if he finds another major he likes, he can turn this econ into a minor).
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,263 Senior Member
    Many students don't have a specific major by the end of their freshman year. If your son really has taken 4 economics classes already, it sounds like he's very much headed to that major or something similar.

    If he is not receptive to your advice, I suggest just give him time -- and don't push. He will make a decision, probably sooner rather than later. I bet it's something he thinks about all the time -- just doesn't admit it.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,538 Senior Member
    Waitingfor2013 -

    Where is your son studying? My undergraduate college doesn't require students to declare majors until the END of the SOPHOMORE year! This is something that hasn't changed since I was there umpty years ago.

    Trust your kid. He will come up with something by the time his school requires him to.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,172 Senior Member
    To me it sounds like your son has already made his decision. I don't think anyone takes 4 economics courses in a single year, 2 per semester, by accident. Why do you think your son does not know enough at this point to make an informed decision? Four courses is already 1/3 of the major! Do you have any reservations against the field?

    Most of my friends declared their majors while taking the 2nd or 3rd course in the subject, and most of them are very happy with their decisions.
  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch Registered User Posts: 2,149 Senior Member
    Well, it's time to start thinking about it, but as everyone else is saying, it isn't necessarily time to feel too pressured about it. At many schools, kids don't declare majors until sophomore year is nearly over.

    Does his school have a good career office? Do they encourage kids to visit "early and often"? They can be wonderful sources of information, and kids sometimes respond more enthusiastically to their guidance and suggestions than the ones from home.
  • AtlmomAtlmom Registered User Posts: 806 Member
    At our college you cannot declare until the end of your sophomore year. This is so that they can jump in and look at different areas....you never know what will pique your interest academically. Also reduces course loss....you go into a general college before declaring. Its okay, I am surprised a freshman has taken almost 1/2 of his classes in one area..... Econ is a good major or minor....and can be combined for a double major.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    I'm most familiar with school sthat needn't require a major until THIRD YEAR. And I think its a great thing.

    Try to focus more on education and less on occupational training.

    The odds any kid will end up with one occupation is pretty low. The odds that one occupation will match their major is even lower.

    The world is a very different place. Most parents don't realize this yet.
  • newmassdadnewmassdad Registered User Posts: 3,848 Senior Member
    Heck, I just returned from my D's college graduation. Most of her friends still don't know what they want to do.

    This may sound flippant, but what's the rush? Most working adults end up changing careers more than once as working adults, and few real careers outside credentialed professions like accounting have strict undergrad study requirements - you can get into law school with any major.

    I've known all too many folks who have taken an extra year of college, or taken classes post BA because they discovered their calling later in the game (or worse, bowed to pressure to declare a major too early!).
  • Waitingfor2013Waitingfor2013 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Thanks to all that wrote. I feel better already. I must apologize for not being clear: DS took only 2 economics-related classes in college so far, but is already enrolled on a 3rd one for the fall. In my post I was referring to all the related classes he has taken so far, which included 2 he took as AP classes in high school.

    Happymomof1, he goes to a lower Ivy and that school does not require a student to declare a major before the end of sophomore year.

    I guess, most of all, I would like to see him looking for ways to learn more about potential majors when he has time, which is the case right now. I also worry that he might not take advantage of all the career advising resources available at his school.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "Heck, I just returned from my D's college graduation. Most of her friends still don't know what they want to do."

    I'm 58, and I still don't know what I want to do. (but I want to BE a pixie).
  • avoidingworkavoidingwork Registered User Posts: 786 Member
    I also worry that he might not take advantage of all the career advising resources available at his school.

    Waitingfor2013, suggest you try not to worry about it. I don't know anyone who takes advantage of all the available resources. Generally, these are available to alumni too, so they will be available when it matters most (e.g. when he is in the job market). It is too hard to project 3+ years down the line as to career opportunities (doctor, lawyer, and indian chiefs excluded)

    Like mini, I'm 50+, and still don't know what I want to do. I'm pretty clear on my first career, but am trying to figure out my 2nd.

    And as an aside, I landed my first post-degree career job from a listing at the university's career center.
  • dadofsamdadofsam Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    Waiting: on top of all the other advice, my experience has been to not expect a kid to be receptive to ANYTHING around this time of the year. But things do sink in later.
This discussion has been closed.