Coming into college, you are presented with a multitude of majors from which to choose. There are the sciences, the humanities, the business programs, and the arts. But within these categories there are even more specific programs, like biology or chemistry, marketing or management.
The decision to declare a major as a freshman is a daunting task, which is why coming into college as an undeclared student is beneficial for freshmen.
Many people consider the idea of being undeclared problematic because there is a misconception that students will not be able to graduate in time if they wait to declare their major in their sophomore year. This viewpoint is inaccurate, as colleges create a deadline to declare a major that ensures you will graduate in your expected year; Providence College has a deadline of the end of sophomore year for students to declare a major .
Coming in as an undeclared student, one might wonder if there are any pressures. Lauryn Anthony ‘22, who came in undeclared, praised PC for the way the undeclared program works here. “I never felt pressured to know exactly what my decision for my major was going to be, which I think is a great thing about Providence College because you have a lot of time,” Anthony said. “It wasn’t so much that my advisors were like ‘you need to pick something now’; they came at it from the standpoint of ‘is this what you are going to love to study?’ I declared biology a week before the deadline sophomore year and what I would say to people is that it doesn’t have to come to you quickly, and that is totally fine.”
Being undeclared is beneficial as it allows you to experiment with classes that interest you until you finally find your passion.
Students come into college as a seventeen or eighteen year old; why should they be expected to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives right when they step foot onto campus?
“I’m really glad I came into my freshman year undeclared because it gave me a chance to explore my options and figure out what I’m passionate about,” Sophie Riddick ’22 said.
Riddick was allowed to explore all of her options. “I was interested in both psychology and marketing, so I took classes in each discipline [during] first semester freshman year. While I enjoyed both classes, psychology stood out to me as it was the one I was genuinely excited to attend every day. Being undeclared and having that chance to experience different majors ultimately gave me the clarity and assurance I needed to feel confident that psychology was for me,” Riddick said.
The classes you use to experiment and find your passion teach you valuable lessons and skills that can be used in both your declared major and life in general.
The classes that you take within other disciplines–for example psychology, philosophy, or biology, can benefit you in the classes for your eventual major.
Elements of core curriculum classes are bound to be seen in themes of novels in English courses, case studies within sociology, or ethical issues within a business ethics course.
For some people, however, they know exactly what they want to do for a post-graduate occupation.
But for those who are even slightly uncertain, being undeclared is beneficial and allows students to experiment until they find their educational or occupational passion.
Being undeclared is highly beneficial and rarely puts students at a disadvantage.
There should be no stigma around coming into college undeclared and no pressure to decide on a major right away.
Take the time you need to explore all of the classes PC offers its students.