For the majority of high school, my heart was set on being a political science major when I got to college. I had big dreams of getting my degree, working in DC, and eventually running for political office. Then I changed my mind. About a month after getting to college, I realized that I actually don’t want to do any of that. Without a major plan, I felt lost. I had no idea what the next four years were going to look like, which is really scary. As time has gone on, I’ve thought more about what I want to do while at Hope. Here are some of the things I’ve considered as I’ve rethought my course of study:

What do I like?

This may seem obvious. It’s what literally everyone tells you in high school after all. However, what I failed to consider is that it’s not just about the classes I like. Hobbies and interests can easily become a major option. For example, I love public speaking, so the communications major might suit me. I also want to learn another language, so I could also do a major in one of the many languages Hope offers. In college, there are a lot more options for fields of study than high school, so your future major may not be something you ever heard about before. 

Try things out

As a liberal arts college, Hope has a diverse set of gen ed requirements, designed to create a well-rounded student body. The gen eds are a great way to explore different interests. For example, I’m currently taking computer science to fulfill my natural science requirement. This has been great for someone like me who doesn’t like most lab sciences, but has enjoyed programming in the past. Even if you can’t fulfill a gen ed with a class you want to take, consider taking it anyway. With the way Hope’s curriculum is designed, there’s room for students to take an elective here and there. Even if you end up deciding that field of study isn’t for you, it’s a good thing to knock out the option earlier rather than later.

Meet with Faculty

One of the great things about Hope is that the faculty are always a great resource. Everyone has an advisor, who I recommend going to with questions. If they don’t know how to help, then they’ll direct you to someone who will. Every meeting I’ve had with a professor has been incredibly helpful, and they have made it clear that I have support no matter what path I go down.

Don’t Be Scared!

The idea of picking what you want to pursue in college may seem intimidating, but it’s not nearly as scary as I expected. Right now, my plan is to double major in computer science and Chinese studies, but that very well may change. And that’s okay! Especially as a freshman, I know that I have time to think about what I want to do and to explore different options.

Published by Mackenzie Niswonger

Class of 2026 Hometown: Gladstone, MI Majors: Computer Science and Philosophy

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