Why it’s okay to be undecided as you apply to colleges

Undecided? Why it's okay to be undecided as you apply to colleges


If you’re a rising high school senior beginning to think about college, you may be realizing that when it comes to choosing your major, you’ve got a lot of options. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you might be a little concerned with the fact that you’re undecided about one of the most important parts of college — the major you’re declaring.

But you’re not alone — even if it may seem like you’re behind on narrowing down your major, many of your peers will finish high school undecided as well. Here are a few reasons why it’s more than okay to be undecided about your major as a rising (and graduating) high school senior, and why being undecided can even be a good thing in the long run!

1. Schools want you, even if you’re undecided throughout your upcoming senior year of high school.

Your friends and peers probably don’t care if you’re not decided about your major, and neither will the universities you apply to! Admissions boards understand how important this decision is. They also know their students, including incoming students, are likely to change their course of study at one point or another. So, there is no reason for a school not to accept an applicant solely because they are undecided.

2. You’re one of many undecided high school students.

Guess who else isn’t decided on their major? Many, many other prospective college students. There are hundreds of possible majors for students to choose from, and ultimately, over 60 percent of graduates say they would change their major if they could go back. So even if you did know what you wanted to major in, it’s possible that wouldn’t be the major you graduate with. Some students switch their majors even before their first year, or semester, is complete. So don’t sweat it!

3. As an undecided rising high school senior, the world is your oyster.

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s true — the world is your oyster. Yes, we’ll admit that it’s a bit of a cliché, but hear us out! Being undecided leaves you open to many different possibilities, allowing you more flexibility when picking your classes and extracurriculars. But first, when picking a college to attend, think about what kind of learning environment will be best for you to explore your varied interests. Perhaps that will be the environment offered by a private Catholic university, or perhaps you’ll fit better in a larger research-oriented public school. And when looking through college course catalogs, it’s okay to take a chance on subjects that are new to you. If a school is known for their chemistry program, give it a shot! Or give a business administration course a whirl. You’ll never be able to pick the right path for yourself until you explore your options.

4. Don’t neglect resources available to you.

Not only is exploring various classes a good way to decide on a major, but so is speaking with your college advisors at school. Remember that teachers and advisors are there to help with this exact situation. Many of them have even been in your position before. They can help you put your decision into perspective and help you pinpoint your interests! Talking to a college admissions counselor can also be helpful. They can tell you all you need to know about the different schools and majors at their university.

Preparing to make the transition to college can be tough, but one thing you don’t need to stress about is whether you’ve decided on your major yet or not. You’ve got time to explore and change your mind, and it’s better to decide on a major a little late rather than declare one and take a bunch of classes you’re uninterested in or simply don’t need. Be patient with yourself, and you’ll figure it out in no time!