Anxiety About Major Choice- Should I/Can I Change?

Hello! Thank you for reading this- I am a current junior at UGA who just transferred from Oxford College of Emory. At Oxford/Emory I was planning to be a neuroscience and behavioral biology major, and at UGA I have declared my major as psychology with a neuroscience emphasis (UGA doesn’t have a specific neuroscience major). I was originally drawn to this because I am interested in behavior change and have adored podcasts such as Hidden Brain and other psychology/social science material. However, ever since the beginning of quarantine, having had time to think, I’ve been contemplating changing my major, and now that I am back in psychology courses I am considering this even more. My reasoning behind this is as follows:

  1. I am honestly extremely bored in the psychology major. My GPA is a 4.0 and I have always been a great student. However, I feel that psychology isn’t challenging my brain in the ways that it likes to be challenged. In addition, in my psyc/neuroscience courses I often find myself asking why we’re even studying something, as it seems unnecessary. I believe in psychology as a field and respect psychologists, but I personally just don’t seem to feel a strong attachment to the material and in particular to psychological research.
  2. I despise labs, writing research papers, and reading scientific papers and thus am afraid that a career as a neuroscience researcher is not for me. In addition, I am not interested in medical school as I have decided that, for me personally, it would not be worth the sacrifice and that I would just be doing it for the clear path/relative stability.
  3. I am concerned that, if I don’t pursue graduate school in psychology or neuroscience and don’t pursue medical school, my psychology degree will not help me get anywhere and I will have to go back to school or settle for a mediocre career.
  4. I am interested in pursuing a major/course of study that allows me to be more creative and/or work in the arts in some way.

I am now in my second full week of school, so I have to stick with my classes for this semester, but should I continue with this major after this and just graduate or try to switch? To be clear, I am not even sure what I would switch to right now- I just know that I can’t stay in psychology if there is any way out. My parents have agreed that I can stay on a fifth year at UGA if necessary due to it being so much cheaper than Emory. Thank you, and I look forward to reading your thoughts/advice.

You still have plenty of time to switch majors in the situation you are in.

What creative arts or areas of study are you interested in? That would help us offer advice. I might suggest expressive arts therapy as an area of study, but the career trajectory for that is not well-paid.

I have seen jobs for psychology majors in fields like hospice, eating disorder clinics, substance abuse counseling, psychiatric hospitals, some including group work. Does counseling interest you? I have also seem research jobs that are pretty interesting, some open to BA or BS grads.

Of course all kinds of jobs and grad schools would be accessible for you. Many do, as you implied, go on from a bachelor’s in psych. to grad school, MSW, doctorate in psych. etc.

If you are bored by the subject, it seems like you are on the right track to question it. What’s missing from your post is what you ARE interested in, and it might take a little exploring. If it is an artistic major, I hope you can pursue that. This should be a time to enjoy your studies.

You seem articulate and self-aware :slight_smile:

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paging @juillet, who has some relevant experience!

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