You loved your major once, and you still might, but sometimes, you feel tired or bored with taking yet another course about the same topic. Seeing familiar faces was nice at first, but after three years, it would be fun to meet new people in your classes. On some days, your major excites you. But on other days, it stresses you out and makes you question whether or not you’re in the right field.
You feel burned out. And while feeling this way can cause you to have doubts, it’s important to recognize the difference between feeling stressed sometimes and not enjoying your field of study anymore.
If your major has started to burn you out, here are some key things to consider:
Realize every major has its difficulties
If some of your doubt and stress comes from how challenging your work is, remember that every major can be stressful at times. Though you might think ‘it would be so much more fun to be a fashion major’ as you see your roommate work on her designs, realize that every major can be difficult in its own way. When you take just one class in an area or see what your friends do, you might not understand all of the work that goes into that major and therefore might perceive it as less stressful than your own. However, this is likely not the case; some of your friends probably think your major seems easier or more fun than theirs.
Consider what is causing your negative feelings
Are you tired of an extracurricular you’re involved in that’s related to your major? Do you want to meet more people? Are you feeling uninspired? These things are not necessarily signs that you’re unhappy with your major; rather, you might be unhappy or bored with your current routine. Isolate some of the things you don’t like about your major. If you’re tired of an extracurricular, try a new one. If you want to meet more people, you could probably do that by joining a new extracurricular. If you’re feeling uninspired, take some time to reflect and focus on yourself before going back to your work. If you try to address these issues and still feel like your major drains you rather than excites you, you might want to consider switching majors.
Get involved outside of your major
Though your major is obviously a big part of your studies, everything you do doesn’t have to relate to it. Within your program, you might feel pressured by professors or peers to be deeply involved in extracurriculars related to your major. However, wanting to be involved in additional activities or having different interests doesn’t mean your major isn’t right for you. You don’t have to have the exact same interests as everyone else in your major. Ultimately, get involved in what you’re interested in, not what the other people in your major are interested in.
Allow yourself to take a break
Majoring in history doesn’t mean your life has to be a 24/7 history lecture. Allot some time to set aside the work in your major and focus on something else. Even if you love something, that doesn’t mean you have to dedicate 100 percent of your time to it.
Make the most of it
What if your major burns you out and you really just don’t enjoy it anymore? Melissa, a student at Northern Michigan University, said she was excited to get into the more specialized courses within her major. Once she did, though, she realized she didn’t enjoy them as much as she thought they would.
Maybe you’ll decide to switch your major, or maybe you’ll stick it out like Melissa decided to. Though Melissa views some of the work in her major as uninteresting or difficult, she’s focusing on what she’s gaining from it: critical thinking skills, which can help her in many different fields. She also added a minor to her degree.
“Don’t be afraid to branch out to other fields,” she said. “It might be extra work but adding a minor to your degree that you enjoy could truly make your academic experience much more beneficial.”
Chances are, you’re not going to love every aspect of your major, but don’t let a few tough projects or a couple boring classes make you dislike something you once loved. Instead of focusing on your doubts, mistakes and stress, let your passions motivate you instead.
Image via Celina Timmerman