Angelika Hillios

Come undeclared to college

April 11, 2022

Dear incoming students,

As a current sophomore I came to college having already declared my major, but I frequently wish I came to college undeclared.

Use college as an opportunity to find what you love.

At UVM, students are not required to select their major immediately, according to UVM’s undeclared majors page.

Students should take advantage of this policy and try out a wide variety of classes.

UVM has over 100 majors to choose from, according to their majors, minors and graduate programs’ page, but some students never explore varying areas of study.

I didn’t get the opportunity to learn about topics such as food systems, anthropology or art history in high school but I did in college.

Trying classes outside of my usual area of study early on in college could have opened my eyes to so much more.

For certain majors, such as engineering or nursing, the rigorous programs may make it harder for students to come in undeclared and still graduate in four years.

However, if an undeclared student chooses to pursue these programs, they should expect to not graduate on time.

Deciding late is expensive, but it saves money that would otherwise be lost if one graduates with the wrong degree and has to go back to college.

College first-years are only exposed to a few career options and areas of study. No one should expect an 18-year-old to know what they want to do for the rest of their life.

Students in rigorous programs should use their general education requirements to explore disciplines outside of their major.

A major does not have to pave your career path. I know I will use my education and Spanish degrees, but these are not the only areas I’m interested in.

I feel happy studying Spanish and education, and it’s likely I would have ended up in these programs regardless of whether or not I came in declared.

However, coming to college undeclared could have given me the ability to learn about topics that are outside of my field of study.

Though I haven’t changed my major, I try to allow myself to explore areas of study unrelated to Spanish or education.

Do what I didn’t and use college as a time to explore all your options.

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